Thursday, May 29, 2008

Race Number 1643...


The fork on the bike was toast and the shifters had broken off. I now have a green Kuota Kalibur fork on a red Kuota Kalibur frame. If the Europeans say something snarky to me I will just tell them that it is all the new rage in THE STATES. So my stuff is packed, and I have not gotten any sleep. I have to jump in the shower and be ready to leave for the airport in 45 minutes and my flight leaves at 8 am. I have to have enough time to get parked, take the shuttle with my bike on board, pay for the bike and watch them haul it away and then make it to my gate with some time to spare. I plan to crash on the plane.

I am not sure if you will need to go to the Ironman web page or to the Switzerland 70.3 web page for race information. Zurich is 7 or 8 hours ahead of Houston and my swim wave start is at 10:15 am in the morning of June 1st.

When I find an internet cafe, I will send an update!

Later Gators,


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Great News and Not So Great News...

First the GREAT NEWS...

My 33 Team in Training Triathlets all crossed the Finish Line and I had one TEAM member, Jill, win 1st place in the Athena category, and another TEAM member, John, win 3rd in his age group. Here is the kicker, John was also recognized because he was the oldest participant in the Cap Tex Tri. Amazing!!!

Here I am waiting patiently for all of my participants to make it out of the swim...

I have a fever...and the only prescription is MORE COWBELL!!!

Here is the TEAM cheering on John, our 73 year-old TEAM mate, on to the finish line!

The TEAM is helping Missy make it the last few steps to the finish line. They were awesome and two other TEAM mates helped me walk the last 2 miles with her before we got to that point.

There is Missy crossing the Finish Line as the final Official Finisher of the race. I was so proud of her!

Remember, you can always click here if you would like to be an instrumental part in finding a cure for Leukemia, Lymphoma, and other blood related cancers by the year 2015. There were 280 Team in Training participants that raised over $900,000.00 dollars to go towards patient aid and research who completed the race on Sunday. Every penny counts!

Now the Cool News...

As a Thank You gift, the TEAM got me a Louis Garneaux Rocket Aero Helmet to take with me this weekend to race with at the Switzerland 70.3 event. I would include a picture, but I still feel like a goofball poser wearing it especially after the next news worthy item in this blog entry.

And now the not so great news...

While heading to Chuy's Tex Mex for lunch before driving back to Houston (the one where the Bush Twins got nabbed for under-age drinking...), I drove the car under some power lines that had been knocked down just minutes before by an 18 wheeler and it pulled my bike off of the roof rack and sent it crashing to the ground. One of the shifters is broken completely off and I have to take it straight to the shop in the morning to see if the fork or the frame has any cracks. I am a little freaked, but if worse comes to absolute worse, I will pull my saddle off the Kuota and put it on the Trek Hilo or the EPX 303. The EPX got me through IMAZ so it will be up to the job if I call that horse out of the stable. I am trying to have a "glass half full" attitude here.

I will post some more pics soon and give an update on the bike situation.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In Memory of Mom...

I wanted to take the time today to recognize a very special person in my life. Today marks the sixth year of my mother's loss with her battle against Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. As sad as that may seem, what I want to emphasize is that my mother was diagnosed with the cancer in 1992 when it was in Stage 4, or the most wide-spread in her body, and she defied it for 10 years! That is pretty darn amazing.

I always used to comment that I looked nothing like her, but as I get older and look at pictures, it startles me how much I do look like her. We all say that we want to avoid becoming our parents, but I hope that I can at least live up to what my mother did and who she was. Even though we may look the same, we really were different and I know she struggled as a mother to keep me as "her little girl" when I went off and did some crazy things. She was a bit over protective and she had every right to be that way because I was the runt in all my classes. Not only was I the youngest one in my grade level because I started school a year early, but I was a tiny little kid because I had not grown much in height because my body was busily repairing and strengthening itself on the inside after having open heart surgery when I was only three months old.

I would roll my eyes when she asked me to say within sight when I played outside and that I had to "check-in" every 15 minutes if I went down a few houses. I was a little upset when she would not let me join the neighborhood swim team and instead signed me up for piano lessons. Today, I think that I am a darn good swimmer and I don't know how to play anything on the piano. How's that for rebellion? She would put me in frilly dresses and give me expensive dolls that had to sit on a shelve for my birthdays and Christmas. She would not let me cut my hair and insisted that I always behave like a young lady and that I always had a healthy fear for my life that was instilled into me if I thought about misbehaving. So when it came time to stretch my wings a bit, I joined the school swim team and water polo team. I hung out with some interesting kids. I got really involved with competitive sailing. And then I left home and went off to school. I had a hard time cutting loose at school because I thought my mother was always watching. And she did try her hardest by always calling and checking in with me every day. Looking back now, I know she did it because she missed me and wanted to know what my life was like up at school.

When she was diagnosed with the cancer, she did not tell me for weeks. My family was angry with me for not checking in, but I had no idea anything was wrong. My mother did not want to burden me during my last semester of school. I was angry. She had done this the year before when she did not tell me that my dad had had a heart attack and needed angioplasty surgery until he was in ICU a few days later. The excuse was that it was my birthday and she did not want me to miss the big football game at school.

Well, I had to get over that anger and I had to do something to help. I could not donate blood or platelets because I had the open heart surgery, so I drove her back and forth to M.D. Anderson for her treatments and waited while she had chemotherapy or bone marrow aspirations. I spent as much time with her as I could but I wanted to be able to do more. It was not until 2001 that I found the answer to what I could do. I joined Team in Training.

I hated to run and I did not own a bike, but I was determined to raise $4000.00 and pedal a bike 100 miles around Lake Tahoe. My mom thought I was a little crazy, but I know she was really proud that I had gotten back into sports and exercise. I was lucky enough to have her come out to some of the training events when she was feeling good and the possibility of being around too many germs was low. The only thing that I regret is that she did not get to live long enough for me to finish my first triathlon in 2002. She knew that I had signed up for the Walt Disney World Triathlon through Team in Training, but at the time she was very sick and in Hospice care. I was still finishing my training for my second Century Ride around Lake Tahoe and she insisted that I keep up my training and I could come back and check in on her later that day. When she passed away, I was 12 days out from my Century Ride. All of my teammates were there at her funeral and they were surprised the next day when I showed up to load my bike on the trailer to travel out to Lake Tahoe. I told them that my mother would have given me one hell of a lecture if I had decided to not go and finish that Century Ride after putting in all the training and raising over $4,500.00 to go towards patient aid and research. It was the most incredible ride I have ever done. I poured my emotions out on the bike and the road and finished the 100 miles and went over the three mountain passes in just 6 hours.

Today I set up my web page for fundraising for my 15th Team in Training event. My goal is to raise another $5,000.00 dollars and run some little road race called the San Antonio Rock n' Roll Marathon. I have been asked on a few occasions to race for both cycling and triathlon teams in the area where I live, but I have had to politely turn them down. It would mean that I could not wear my purple and green Team in Training racing gear. Everywhere I travel to for a race I always hear, "GO TEAM!" and I would not get that if I was wearing another team's kit. I heard "GO TEAM" in Cancun last year and I am waiting to see if I will hear it in Switzerland next week.

All I ask that you do today is call your mom, if you are lucky enough to still have her with you, and tell her how much you love her and thank her for putting up with your some of your goofy antics. I miss those phone calls that used to come like clock work every day at 2 pm. I miss that red velvet and white checker-board birthday cake with the vanilla frosting. I miss getting a cutting of some plant out of her garden. I miss my number one cheerleader and cow bell ringer.

Thank you for stopping by on my day of remembrance and if you feel compelled, forward this on to a few people who you think might like to read it.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Muddy Buddy!!!

Where to begin on this topic here...

Well, It all began back in February when I was approached by one of the other Personal Trainers at work and he told me that one of men who regulary attended his Boot Camp class wondered if I would be interested in teaming up with him to do the Muddy Buddy relay and if I had a mountain bike. I told the PT, Jason, to have the club member talk to me and that it sounded interesting enough.

So, Jason G. told his client Jason J. to look for me in the club and that I would talk to him about participating in Muddy Buddy together. Jason J. is a pretty fit guy and I just hoped that he would not be disapointed in my abilities to do this relay. His partner from last year had moved away and his sister had gotten into a cycling injury and had to have surgery on her arm. This meant that he was on the lookout for a partner. Since the partners have to share a bike, it is important that the partners are near the same height. Well, I am only 5'4". I think Jason might be 5'6". I decided that I was game for the relay and I let Jason make all the registration plans and handle all the arrangements. I would provide the bike and the best mountain biking skills that I had, which were pretty poor if you always ride a tri bike on the road.

In March while I was at the L.A. Marathon expo, I had the honnor and privelege to meet Bob Babbit who is the editor of Competitor Magazine and an Ironman hero of mine.
I was kind of star struck when my buddy JT took our picture. Bob was working the crowd and telling people all about the Muddy Buddy race series. He asked me if I was going to do Muddy Buddy and I told him that I was registered for the Austin, TX race. Bob then asked me if I had ever done Muddy Buddy before. I had not. Trail running over cactus and limestone, possibly falling off a bike and injuring myself, and low crawling through a mud pit had not been on my radar of races I had wanted to do. Besides that, the race mascot was a FROG. If you know me well, then you know that I do not get along well with FROGS. Having a race t-shirt with a FROG on it was not a shwag item that I was dying to get my hands on.

Well, as race time neared, Jason was staying in contact with me to see that I was still going to be doing the race. I was, but I really had not been training for it. I was kind of bummed because I had won a race entry for the Silverlake Sprint Triathlon that I had done respectably well at last year, but it was the same day as Muddy Buddy. I had promised Jason to be his partner, so I gave my race entry away to my tri buddy Norma. This would be her first tri since crashing off her bike earlier this season. Jason and I kept in contact about where we would meet up for packet pick up and where he was staying. I had tried to get a hotel, but everything around Austin was booked for the University of Texas' Graduation ceremonies and assorted weddings. I figured I could get near the race site and just sleep in my Honda Element since the seats recline all the way flat and have the bike in the car with me on the other side of the back.

After putting in a 13 mile run and coaching my TNT Tri TEAM for their last Saturday workout before their big race in Austin on May 25th at the Capitol of Texas Triathlon, we had some breakfast and then I raced home to swap out bikes and take a quick shower before hitting the road to Austin. I made it to the REI for packet pick up in 2 1/2 hours and met up with Jason and his entire cheering squad consisting of his wife, his two sons, his sister and her daughter, and his parents. Then there was me, "Geek Girl" all by herself. Well, we did the packet pick up and as much as I wanted to look around REI since this one was so much bigger than the one by my house, I had someone I had to go and say "hello" to. It was Bob Babbit! Again, Bob was working the crowds and helping sell Muddy Buddy Shirts and caps. I told Bob I was looking forward to the race and I introduced him to my partner in crime (or should that be grime...), Jason. Jason asked where I was staying overnight and I told him that I had not found a hotel and said I was going to sleep im my car. His wife would have none of that. She said that she was going to call the hotel to see if they could get a roll away and I would have someplace to sleep. That was so nice of them to do that. I was basically a stranger to all of them and I only knew Jason from the gym.

I followed Jason and his family and his parents car and we caravaned an hour west of Austin to Marble Falls, TX. We made arrangements with the front desk to get a roll away and to see if breakfast would be ready at 5:45 so we could eat a little early before heading to the race. I had not had lunch so I was famished as was Jason and he hearded the family over to a nice restaraunt with a great lake view. Come to find out, Jason and I both went to Texas A&M University and we graduated only a year apart from each other. He ran cross country for A&M and all of a sudden I had a sinking feeling that he was going to be highly disapointed in my running abilities since he is a competitive person and he was really geared up for this race. Ugh!!! I did not want to let him down! As I was getting ready to pay, Jason's father picked up the bill and said that he was paying for whoever followed him out the door to go when he was ready to leave and since I had followed, he was payining. Double Wow!!!

Jason was going to take his boys to go swim in the pool and this gave me an opportunity to go find a grocery store or at least a drug store. I had not seen anything looking remotely like a grocery store since we had left Austin. I was on a mission to find two white t-shirts. I had brought along some Sharpie markers and I was going to make us up some "Ghetto-Fabulos" team shirts. Jack Pot! I found a Super Wal-Mart. I found some $6 tech tops and some extra Gatorade for Jason along with a stuffed bear to attatch to the handlebars of the bike with zip ties to find it easily in the holding pens when we switched from the bike to the run portions of the race. While I was standing in line, the man behind me asked me if my body fat was around 8%. I told him it was not that low, but he probably was not too far off. My arms look like road maps with my blue veins traveling up my arms and intersecting over each other. He said he was a former Army nurse and could tell that from my arms and my tri event shirt that I was wearing that I had to be pretty good. HA! If he only knew that I run with the "Not-So-Big Dogs". We got talking and I told him that I was in town for Muddy Buddy and he was so intrigued that he told me that he was going to come out the race and watch. He asked for my race number and said he would see me there. Ok, I was really doubting that this guy was going to show up, but I said "Great! See you there.", and we parted ways. I filled up the gas tank and headed back to the hotel.

I surprised Jason with the shirts and he was pretty jazzed about them. I had brought a printout off the computer of our team name that we could see through the fabric of the shirts and we would trace it off with the Sharpies. We both got busy on that for the next hour. I could tell that Jason was really excited about the race and our super team shirts. I was pretty tired from the 13 mile run that had started at 5 am, the coaching, and the travel. I was so ready for lights out after a quick shower. By 10:20, I was snoozing.

I slept good and I got a good 7 hours of sleep. Poor Jason said he woke up at 3 am, then around 4 am, then he heard my watch alarm go off at 4:30 (which did not rouse me), and then dozed until my alarm on my cell phone went off. We got changed quick and got our stuff together and then headed out to the continental breakfast. I had brought my own wheat and corn free food selection, so all I grabbed was some orange juice. We saw some other Muddy Buddy participants stumble in for some breakfast. They were dressed way too cute in their matching outfits. Didn't they know they were going to get really muddy???
We hit the road in my Honda and made the 25 minute drive to Perdinalas State Park so that we could get parked and make it up to the race venue.

Once parked, we strapped the bear to the handle bars and grabbed our back packs and started the trek to the start. The sun was now up and it was getting warm. The day before had been overcast with temps in the high 70's. Today there was not a cloud in the sky and the predicted high was 91 degrees. Once near the start, we found a table to prop the bike against and figured that it was time to unveil our team shirts since the other 899 teams were proudly showing off their costumes and team shirts. Our team name was the North American Distance Sprinters...

Here is the front of our team shirt. Very Professional...

until you see the back of the shirt.

We hit the port-o-cans one last time and stashed our bags under a tree and who did we happen to see, but MR. FROG himself, Bob Babbit! I had to capture this moment before heading to the starting line. There are only one frog in this world that I
can handle without going into cardiac arrest and that is Kermit from the Muppets. Well Bob, you are now part of a small elite group of FROGS that are welcome into the "Circle of Trust" with me.

Jason and I made our way up to our wave start with tons of other participants. We were in wave 9, so things had been going along for quite some time now since the waves were about 5 minutes apart. I was a little nervous about the whole thing. Up until this point I was not nervous, but I really did not want to let Jason down. There were 5 legs on the race. We decided that I would bike first and Jason would run first. They let the cyclists get a one minute headstart on the runners. At the first "transition" you had an obstacle of walking a balance beam that was a good 3 1/2 to 4 feet off the ground. Jason and I strategized that we would leave our bike as far up and to the right of the bike drop as possible and we would look for Mr. Bear on the the handle bars. I got going on the bike and was totally freaked out. I had not been "OFF ROAD" in a long time and the last thing I wanted to do two weeks before Switzerland was endo the handlebars and injure myself. I had to pull over and stop once or twice and I let a lot of people get up ahead so I had some room to work the single track. At one point we were going down hill over these limestone ledges and rocks the size of softballs, and I was cussing like a sailor and trying to keep the pedals moving and not hit the brakes or any runners from the wave that started ahead of us. I walked that balance beam and now it was my turn to run. I had a long down hill section that was pretty technical and I cut loose and was flying. Jason passed me on the bike and shouted "Go N.A.D.S.!!!" I was passing lots of people on the run which was pretty cool and making my way to the second transition and the second obstacle. At this one, we had a rope ladder to climb on one of these inflatable walls with a steep slide on the other side. I was scrambling up that ladder past other people and ignored my fear of falling and slid down the other side. I did not like it, but I did not die so it was off to find the bike and start leg three. I was looking as far up on the right as I could but I saw no bike! I kept looking for Teddy on the handle bars. I finally found him off to the left. I hopped the bike and off I went. This section was techincal as well, but I was getting the hang of it now. I had some other guy on a bike ask me if I was sure if could be mistaken about having N.A.D.S. I told him that I not only had N.A.D.S., but they were big and they were blue. I took off on the bike and left him in the dust, literally! After scrambling up a series of boulders with the bike on my shoulder, I hit the road again and pedaled my way to transition #4 and the obstable there. Jason was waiting for me to hand off the bike and I scrambled up and over a 7 foot rock wall with a rope ladder on the other side and I hit the trails again. I was trucking along pretty good and flying down the assents when we had to do a muddy creek bed crossing. From here it was steep up-hill for quite a long way. The way up was congested with cyclist pushing bikes, cyclists carrying bikes, and runners that had slowed to a walk or a climb up and out of the lowest point on the course. I was doing my best to weave in and out of people and bound up the limestone out croppings. Near the top I was breathing/weazing as hard as everyone else, but I took off and ran after a gal in a grass skirt and coconut bra. She had to slow down on another rocky climb and I pushed past her. I was getting near transition/obstacle #5 and my left calf muscle siezed up and turned to stone. OUCH!!! I paused briefly to stretch it and then hit the pyramid of beams that I had to crawl over, under, over the top and down the other side of. I found the bike quickly and took off. The gears on the bike were not working as well as they had earlier and I noticed the seat was lower than I remember. I guess Jason had lowered the seat. But what was wrong with the gears. Jason told me later that he dropped the chain two times on his bike leg. I had to hop off once when a guy in front of me was going to slow and became more of an obsruction going up a rock out cropping. I got over that, back on the bike and took off again. We had a long climb in the grass and sand and then we came around a corner and had a long downhill. I had to control my speed because there were lots of runners and other cyclists that were not moving that fast. Again, I was cussing like a sailor. Jason's wife spotted me and cheered me on. I hit a turn and everyone there stopped. I hopped off my bike and ran the bike up the rocky incline with the other people and then realized that it was time for THE MUD PIT. I saw Jason waiting for me. I dropped the bike, pulled up a pair of swim goggles that had been hanging around my neck, got Jason and we proceeded to get down and crawl under the rope netting and into the abyss. Woah! It was cold mud! And suddenly it was mud in my shoes, my shorts, my sports bra, my mouth!!! GAG!!! We had to get under 5 lines that had been strung over the pit about 2 to 3 inches from the surface of the mud. I was glad that the bottom was soft and there were no rocks in the mud pit. We made it out and sucessfully climbed out without falling back in like we saw some other people do and then we had to go up a slope and around a corner to the finsh line. Jason was slipping and sliding and I tried to reach out and grab him but he did not want to pull me down as well. He got his footing and we stumbled for the Finish Line. The volunteers cut the timing chip off my wrist and we were handed cold bottles of Cytomax which I had to refuse because it has maltodextrin in it--bummer! And who did I see at the finish??? The guy I struck up a conversation with at Wal-Mart the night before! He kept true to his word and came out to see the race. He gave me a congratulatory finger touch to keep from getting muddy. After some Muddy pictures we went in search of Jason's family. I was going to post the course map, but I am having a hard time doing that. All you need to know is that it was harder and more technical than I expected.

They took more pictures and then we gingerly grabed our gear to make it to the "shower" station which was a collection of hoses with spray nozzles on them and tables set up with jugs of Paul Mitchell shampoo. Jason and I took turns hosing each other off a few times as well as washing off the helmets and rinsing out the shoes. I had taken an old pair of running shoes and my plan was to leave them there. The had done muddy work before and it was time for these to go out with a bang and be retired for good. We thought we would never get all the mud off of us! It kept streamin down our legs out the shorts and then I had soap bubbles all over me from using the shampoo as a body scrub. Even though everyone was still partially dressed, you got some flashes of a boob or a crotch shot here and there as people were opening up waistbands and tugging at tops to spray the mud out with the hose. After this morning, Jason and I know each other a whole lot better if you get my drift. The only person of the opposite gender who saw the things that we saw of each other would have been our spouses and we are both keeping mum about it to each other because we have to see each other in the gym tomorrow.

Well, we packed it up and went to go see the results board. We came in sixth in our coed division. I felt kind of bad because Jason really wanted to get into the top 5 and at first he did think that we were 5th but had miscounted down. Oh well, there is next year and I am going to need that year to get better on my mountain biking skills! Jason's family was great and I did have a fun and very muddy time.

On another the Silverlake Sprint Triathlon, "Super Fast" Terry did it again!!! He held true to his nick name "Number 2" and came in second in his Age Group just 7 seconds behind my buddy Geoff. One of my gals, 24 year-old Katie came in third in her age group as well!!! Congratulations to all my super TNT Triathletes. Next week is their big race!!! I will have lots of stories for that as well.

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, May 12, 2008


I was lucky enough to be able to wear a hat to work so I did not get any strange comments on my hair. My Pilates studio has "soft" lighting so none of my clients could tell anything was wrong in the semi-dark room. My PT clients that I do group training with had to cancel so I avoided more hair questions there. I wore the hat while I taught my weight lifting class. No one said anything. Whew!!! After class and a very Secret Squirrel errand, I was able to make a bee-line to see Tommy and see what he could do for my hair.

Tommy has been cutting my hair now for almost 3 years. I had long hair for a very long time and it was not until after I got out of school that I had it cut up to my shoulders. Each year it got a little shorter, and a little shorter, and then WHAM! I cut it all off and loved the freedom of not having to mess with my hair. Well, in the last 6 months I have been growing it out and Tommy has been doing a great job of making it look good while it goes through that terrible phase of growing out.

Super Long Hair

Ugh! Getting Shorter...My eyes hurt looking at this. This is one of those great Faculty Photos from when I taught high school English. Notice the flowery "Teacher Dress". You would not catch me dead in that today. Blech!

And Shorter...I had left teaching school and now fitness was my full time job.

And Still Shorter but now with Bangs!

Super Short! I went a little crazy after my mom passed away and cut it all off and it stayed this short for 5 1/2 years.

When I sat down in his chair, all he said was, "OH MY GOD! You really did burn your hair!" Then the other stylists had to come over and look at my head and start pulling at my hair. My hair was still falling out in some places and it still smelled awful. Tommy gave me the news that he was going to do the best that he could to keep some of the length and that there would probably still be some burnt hair left on my head, but that in areas it went down to the scalp. I sat with a deep conditioner on my head for 10 to 15 minutes and then Tommy went to work. It was a little sad seeing him cut my hair off because I had spent 6 months growing it out (and it was still short!) and was liking the fact that I could pull it back in two pitiful little "My Little Pony" tails.

This is what it looked like before the flame job...

Well, Tommy did a good job...

Now people are asking me about my new hair cut and I have to tell them the flaming head story and the look they get on their face is almost as funny as how I must have looked jumping around on my back patio with my shirt off and trying to snuff out my head.

So there you go with the hair update.

I had a great training weekend for my TNT gang. They had a Bass Akwards training day and did a 20 minute out and 20 minute back run, a 40 minute out and 40 minute back bike ride and then 2 loops around the lake for amlost 2000 yards. They did fantastic and they are now ready for their Olympic distance triathlon in two weeks in Austin, TX at the Capitol of Texas Triathlon.

I did one last long Chappell Hill bike ride in the hills in preparation for Switzerland in three weeks. It was super windy at 18 to 20 mph winds with gusts over 25 mph. I felt strong going up hill and into the wind and I know I will be ready for "The Beast" My computer went out on the stretch back in witht the tail wind, but I was cranking 53 x 13 gearing and feeling good and fast. It is fun when you have all that power and momentum and you seem to roll up and over those hills rather than have to work them. Terry was along with me for the ride and I knew his legs were a little toasty so I was not surprised when I had to wait for him to show up after that long stretch. I busied myself with chowing down on some Shot Blocks and taking in some fluids until I saw him come around the bend.

Taper time has started for my crew and my Taper begins in a few days. I have one last long run and long swim and and some Tempo work and then I get to start rolling back. I have so much to get done in the next week it is crazy! I will try to keep it updated.

Later Gators!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Yes, I am a HUGE FREAK!!!

Ok, you have all seen those funny cartoons about some guy trying to light up his grill and having it explode and singe the crap out of him. Ha Ha!!! Well, I am not laughing tonight. I was all set to grill some fajita meat that I had marinaded and I went out to get the gas grill going. I turned the gas on and hit the ignition button several times with no luck. So I went in the house and got one of those Bic long lighters that you use for lighting the fire place or the grill. There is a hole on the bottom of the grill to insert the lighter and fire it up.

Well, I clicked the lighter a few times and nothing happened so I pulled it out of the grill to see what was up and clicked it again. There was enough gas in the air by this time that all I saw was a huge fire ball and WHOOSH!!!.

HFS!!! My hair was on fire!!! I did not think to do stop, drop, and roll, but I was trying to pull my shirt off and cover my head. Nice... the neighbors get to see me with my top off and my head on fire. Well, I have singed off part of my left eyebrow, and half of my head is all F--KED UP! It has a funny orange color to it, and some of it has fallen out. The other fried stuff is matted up in my head and it smells something terrible.

I made an emergency call to the guy who cuts my hair to see if I could catch him before he closed to try to get in tomorrow it see if any of it can be salvaged or if the six month effort to grow out my hair has to be cut off and I look like Annie Lennox again.

Top it off, I ended up ruining all but one piece of the meat and had to toss it in the trash because it would have been eating carcinogens.

Hey! How was your day???


Monday, May 5, 2008

CB&I Tri and another great training day

I have been pretty busy of late. I apologizing for not keeping up on my posts and not getting to read others that I enjoy. My bad...

After two full days of training on the Pilates Reformer and the Barrel Arc I was a little mentally punked out, so I was extra happy to get up early and play Coach to my crew of 35 super TNT triathletes. This weekend was the CB&I Triathlon in The Woodlands, TX. Anyone who remembers the ill fated Tri One-0-One series will recall that the finals were to be held in The Woodlands. The Woodlands has a very active tri club and the CB&I triathlon is now in its 5th year and last year it was a qualifier for Nationals. It is a top notch race. I have never raced it because I have had to be "Coach" to my crew, and that is fine by me. I have usually been a volunteer on the run course or just stood out there with a cowbell and a camera and have had a lot of fun cheering on the other racers.

The weather was perfect and even when a freak front rolled through, all it did was kick up the wind to blow out the humidity and drop the temps a few degrees. The clouds were wicked looking, but no rain, no freak storms, no lightning, and then back to sunny skies. My job started in the parking lot as I helped Nikki, Heather, Jarntip, and Katie pump up their tires and attach their race numbers to their bikes because they did not know how to put it on the bike with the big over sized twist ties. I walked them over to the transition area and told them to go set up and then pick up their timing chips.

I found the rest of the crew as they waited for news if the swim was wetsuit legal. They guys had a laugh that they got assigned pink swim caps and the gals got orange. The swim got off with a bang and I was waiting at the swim exit with my camera ready to take pictures.
"Super Fast"

Luke was the first one out of the water but what shocked the C-R-A-P out of me was that "Super Fast" Terry was the second one in his wave start out of the water!!! I was so excited because he is always getting down on himself about his swim ability and how he hates the swim. Terry, you are not a bad swimmer!

Karen after her strong swim!

Reannon having a great time!

More and more of my gang came running up the boat ramp and in to T1. The bad news was that two lifeguards were dragging a male athlete into the boat ramp area and five people had to pull him up high enough on to the boat ramp to start CPR. There were still plenty of people coming out of the water. That must have been terrible to see and run by. The ambulance was trying to get in and athletes were dodging around it to get into transition. We found out later that the 51 year-old athlete died.

I moved up to the run course because I knew that the 12 mile bike would go fast and I wanted to see some of my peeps. I saw "Super Fast" Terry first and he was bitching about having a bad T2 and I yelled at him to let it go and just run. I saw more of my gang running by and smiling. I cheered on all these great looking men who were out there giving it their all. They were going beyond what many would consider sane and normal in behavior. I hoped that their families or friends were out there cheering them on as well. I hoped that they realized what a gift they had been given to be able to have the health and fitness to do this event. Some would give their right arm to be able to do what they were doing. Some unfortunately would die trying. Enjoy the event! Even if the worst happens, you still went out there and did something amazing.

Nahum having fun!

Dave, getting it done on the run!

So now I had to keep looking on the other side of the parkway to see the runners coming back to the finish line. I saw one of our other TNT coaches running it in as the first finisher! Trent is so fast it is scary. He is a tri-animal. However, he was not first overall, that accolade went to another athlete. Soon, I saw one of my TNT tri guys from last year come running in. Geoff went with me to Clearwater for the 70.3 World Championships. He was all decked out in his Zoot/Gu kit now that he is a sponsored athlete. And right behind him was "Super Fast"!!! Terry kept on looking over his shoulder like Norman Stadler did when he was looking for Maca at the end of the 2006 Hawaii Ironman. STOP LOOKING AND JUST FRICKING RUN!!! I was cutting it close on time to make it across town to my Pilates training, but I ran to the finish to see Terry and congratulate him. I saw a few more of the crew run it in and then I had to book it. Turns out that "Super Fast" won 3rd in his age group right behind Geoff and my MASTERS athlete John who is 73 won his age group because he was the only one in it!!! WHOO HOO!!! Way to go John!!! John is on the left in the picture below.

On Sunday we did a great 40 mile ride up in Chappell Hill, TX. The bluebonnets are all gone and other wild flowers have replaced them and in two weeks they will be all gone because it will be too hot. I brought along a secret treat for after the ride and when we finished I pulled out the watermelon that I had on ice in the back of my Honda Element. I think everyone really appreciated it. It was pretty much all gone except for one or two pieces that I took home and ate later that day. A few of us met up later for an open water swim at the scuba park. It is almost getting too warm for the wetsuits, but Town Lake/Lady Bird Lake is still chilly in Austin and the group needs the wetsuit practice.

After 7 miles of hills, we peeled off the layers and threw them in the SAG wagon.

I'm yukking it up in the photo because I got a new nickname..."Shorts McGee". If you have seen Anchorman, you get it.

After that fun training day, I went home and snarfed everything that could not run away from me and I sat on the sofa and watched Men In Black and Austin Powers. I got a wonderful 10 hours of glorious sleep and obviously was out like a rock because the back tube on my bike popped and scared the C-R-A-P out of my husband and I never heard it. He was sitting in the next room when it happened and I have to change it and find out what happened. Kinda strange because they are Gatorskin tires and they have Tuffy liners in them. I will investigate that tomorrow. Right now I have to go get a report for work done.

Hope you had a great weekend as well!

Lator Gators,


Thursday, May 1, 2008

I Have Found My New Ironman Tattoo!


The movie was AWESOME!!! I am a huge comic geek and I have been waiting for this one for a long time. Last Fall at the 70.3 Worlds they played the "I am Ironman" clip at the victory banquet. VERY COOL! Now I just have to decide where to put Tony Stark. He is a man who likes a tight bum, so....


Go see the movie!