Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I am a computer ignoramus...

Once again, in an effort to keep my blog somewhat interesting, I have decided to change the photo in the header, but I can't get it centered and below the text. WTF!

I have tried editing the HTML and failed miserably with it. Trust me, my blog would be pretty to look at if I could figure out how to do it.

I have the same computer issues trying to upload my Polar and SRM data into the computer as well. I can't get it.

Ok, I know how to type and print and hit the "Submit" button and that is it.

Sorry folks, that is the best I can do...


Monday, August 25, 2008

The Olympics are over....time to start posting again.

Was there anyone else out there that was as sleep deprived as I was for the past 16 days? As much as I dislike having NFL football, golf, and NASCAR take over the airwaves again, it gives me time to get caught back up on my sleep. I made a comment on Greyhound's blog that I was a little peeved that Triathlon got no airtime, no mention of the sport by Bob (I have a bad haircut/hairpiece) Costas, and all they cared to show in prime time was a lot of track and field events in their entirety from the wee hours of the night before, and more and more gymnastics encores. I was so thankful to get to watch some of the men's water polo because I played WP in school and it is a kick-ass hard sport. It was exciting to watch men's volleyball because one of the guys on the team went to the high school that I graduated from and taught school at for 4 1/2 years. He had picked up the game in college.

Well, my training has been going well. I have been doing just enough swimming and biking to keep from getting stale, but it has been my weight training and running that I have really been focusing on. Since I have been doing a bunch of my run workouts in the 90+ degree heat all summer long, when I go out for my long runs on Saturday mornings, I am able to keep my HR pretty darn low and and keep my pace under 9:45. And these are not short runs either. These are 8 to 15 mile run workouts. I am feeling really good about how it is all coming together. I may just have a 4:15 marathon in me.

My allergy shots are going rough. I have been having lots of hives on my arms and it looks like it is not all shot related but food related. I have been doing good on going Gluten-free and avoiding the corn but now I have to get rid of the oats and rice for three weeks and see if that settles things down. It is all Paleo again. I like the Paleo diet, but when you are used to eating yummy Chocolate Heaven Bare Naked Granola it hurts to give that stuff up. I have done some acupuncture treatments because the meridians that run up the arms are linked to the lungs and they are very irritated. Hmm, allergies and congestion??? Hives on the arms??? Well, I have another treatment on Wednesday and we will see how it goes, but right now I am still itching.

My kid started 5th grade today. Yahoo! I have time during the day to get some training in. O.k., is that bad of me? I have realized after this weekend that he is starting to make that transition into the Tween years. We stopped at the mall last Thursday so I could treat him to some Gelato and he asked me as we were walking around and eating our cups-o-yumminess if there was a Hollister store in the mall. I told him that I though so and we kept walking. I don't go the mall often so I was surprised to see some new stores in there. Well, we found the Hollister store and the kid wanted to go in and look. I have never been in a Hollister store. I did not think that I was hip enough. Well, needless to say, I felt as blind as a bat in there. I could not see a dang thing except for the few spotlighted tables of shirts and thong undies. I bumped into way too many people and I wondered if they thought I was trying to grope them. Well, my kid was looking for a t-shirt that said Hollister across the front with the seagull logo underneath of it. There were t-shirts that said Hollister but had no seagull, there were shirts that had the seagull but only said HCO. on them. There were shirts that had lots of seagulls and no Hollister or HCO on them. ARGH!!! Some sweet little high school girl helped us for a good 15 minutes or more looking through stacks and stack of shirts on the tables and in the back room for an X-Small version of what my kid was clamoring for. When he finally settled on something that would suffice, I looked at the price tag and knew it was better to just give in rather than make a scene like some "crazed parent" over the asking price for the shirt. Well, he wore the shirt for the first day of school and I guess he fit in because I heard no complaints out of him.

I have the Austin Triathlon (Olympic) this weekend and I am going to go and spend some time up on Canyon Lake with my dad and my step mom this weekend. I am really looking forward to it. El Esposo is back in Venezuela again so it will just be me and the kid heading out for the weekend. I am looking forward to the Austin Tri since it will be my first race since Switzerland 70.3 and I want to see if I can match or better last year's time of 2:48 and 16th in my age group out of 46 gals. Last year was the first year for the race so I am assuming that the competition will be stiffer this year since it was a very well run event last year. It is no where near what my times used to be when all I did was race sprint and Olympic distance races. Training for longer 70.3 and IM races has slowed me down, lol. I have to shave 18 minutes off to get back to a my PR race but again, this is just prep for the Longhorn 70.3 in October. Gads! That race is only a month away!!!

Alright, off to bed so I can be up at 4:30 am to go teach my indoor cycling class,

Later Gators!


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Congratulations to Laura Bennett

It looked like the heat and that big hill on the bike course took it's toll on the women's triathlon field today/tonight. The sun was out and the swim looked beautiful. Laura Bennett was out of the water first and then the bike scramble began. Julie Swail-Ertel clawed her way into the lead pack to join Bennett and Haskins. The lead pack of 19 eventually put close to a 2K lead on the chase pack. Each time the lead pack went around the course Ertel dropped off the back and struggled to get back. Haskins and Bennett worked in the back to get Julie back in the mix several times. Coming out of T2, Emma Snowsil took off with Fernandez from Portugal, Laura Bennett, and others in chase. There was a big crash in the chase pack as they were coming back into the dam area and leading up to T2. There was even a scramble for footing for a few in the Lead Pack as they entered T2. Emma Snowsil steadily pulled away from the group and had a huge lead the entire run. Laura Bennett at one point was in second place, but was passed up by Emma Moffatt from Austrailia at the start of the third loop and even Juri Ide from Japan towards the end of the third loop. In the end Laura got a second wind and powered back to finish 4th. Sarah Haskins finished 11th and Julie Ertel finished 19th. Check out the pictures.

Congratulations to Laura, Sarah, and Julie for representing the USA with pride!

The Men's race is tomorrow!

Later Gators,


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm in for IMCZ!!!

I just could not pass this one up. I will be toeing the line in Cozumel, Mexico on November 29th, 2009! Greyhound and Kim are joining me. Who else will be sipping margaritas on the beach the day after the race?

I will be posting normally again after the Olympics are over. So far, they are INCREDIBLE!!!

Later Gators,


Thursday, August 7, 2008

I found my next BIG race!!!

I have been biding my time and waiting for inspiration or sheer madness to strike, but it looks as if I have found my next Ironman race! I have been having a lot of fun with the 70.3 distance and now that I have started traveling internationally for a few races, I enjoy getting to see what is beyond the U.S. boarders.

Well, the American IM races are almost impossible to get into anymore unless you PAY MONEY to fly or drive out to the race venue, PAY MONEY for a hotel room, PAY MONEY for a rental car if you had to fly, PAY MONEY to have to eat out, to volunteer at the race to get a leg up on the registration process. Frankly, I don't want to have to pay for the race twice.

The race is at a time of year that so many others will be racing IM Florida, IM Arizona, and the 70.3 World Championships that there is a good chance that this race will not sell out in the first hour of registration. Also it makes it nice for possibly snagging a roll down slot. As I see it, a first year race would be a nice one to try. There is a major airport on Cozumel and all the hotels and vacation rentals will be at an off season price before the holiday season kicks in.

The course looks to be pretty much flat and the weather will be warm but since the main training time is over the summer, the heat should not be too big of an issue compared to a spring race like in Arizona and most people had to do their long rides on a trainer indoors over the winter. It is also after hurricane season so the race should not be cancelled for any reason.

The race production company that put on the Cancun 70.3 race is also doing this race and I really enjoyed the Cancun race. Lots of volunteers were on hand and there was plenty of safe water to drink. The finishers get a fleece jacket and a backpack as Finisher's Gear. SWEET!!!

And who can complain about laying out on a white sandy beach the next day relaxing until the awards ceremony and victory party take place the next evening. My husband did not go to my first IM race but he is going to have to work hard to get out of going to this one!

The heat and humidity are back in H-Town. Here are the stats from yesterday's run. It was hill work but that was only about half of the distance. Compare the numbers with the numbers in the last post and you will see how heat can affect heart rate. Tuesdays run temps were in the low 70's. Last night the temps were 87 to 90 degrees.

Total distance--4.64 miles
Total time--47:31 (small break before the hill work began and at least a 3-4 minute break after the hills before heading back)
Max HR--169 bpm
Average HR--157 bpm
Max pace--8:20
Average pace--10:14
Energy Expenditure--493 calories

The Heat Is ON!!!

Later Gators,


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Storm Watch 2008--Edouard

Well, this storm was more of a rain storm than anything. No thunder and lightning, no flooding, no power outages, and lots of goofy news casters standing in the rain commenting on how the high winds had knocked over some empty plastic trash cans and that there was enough rain to cause some "ponding" (read as puddles) on the streets. The news ran continuously from 4 am until 1 pm and the major complaint was that a bunch of women missed out on seeing All My Children. But it's all good!!! They will rebroadcast at 1:05 am so set your DVR.

I was able to get an 8 mile run in before the heavier rain started. It was muggy and in the low 70's, but around mile 5 a light drizzle started it was enough to cool off, but not enough to start dripping off the brim of my hat. I have been running in 90+ degree heat of late that it was a real treat to run in the cooler temps. They helped keep my heart rate down.

Total distance--8.14 miles
Total time--1:23:24
Max HR--150 bpm
Average HR--138 bpm
Max pace--8:38
Average pace--10:15
Energy Expenditure--700 calories

Back to work tomorrow.

Later Gators,


Monday, August 4, 2008

Busy Weekend...

WARNING: This is a LONG post

This past weekend was jam packed with lots of stuff. I had to collapse in bed at 9:00pm last night and did not wake up until 7:00 am. I am finding that I am needing more and more sleep of late. I guess it is all part of the recovery process.

Well, as you read in my previous post, on Thursday evening I went to to movies with some triathlon buddies and we saw the documentary on Dean Karnazes running the 50 marathons in 50 days in all 50 states. It was pretty amazing stuff!

On Friday after work, I tried to get my kid to go see the new Mummy movie, but he was not having any of it. I had rented the two other Mummy movies for him to watch and I get the feeling that he was a little bugged out by the Pygmy Mummies in the second film. So needless to say, we stayed home and watch one of my favorite shows, "The Dog Whisperer".

Saturday morning, I was up early to run 14 miles. I got a start around 5:30 or so and did a loop around Memorial Park and then headed out to go run through River Oaks. I hooked up with a running group that had a gal on a mountain bike cruising to the front and back of the pack to check on people. The first time she saw me we had just gotten into River Oaks and I was trailing behind her last runner. Well, in less than a mile I had moved up into her pack and I felt a little bad about it. They just happened to be going the same way I was headed. One of their pacers ran back to talk to her if he needed to go back the the slower people and she said she had it. So the pacer guy and I ran together for a bit but without saying anything. Then he bailed to the side of the road at "The Triangle" where I guessed he was going to wait for the lead group and took the curve in the road and started heading up to the next runner in the group. It was a nice exercise for me to surge and then level off my pace and then surge again. I could tell how using my arms to swing a little more rather than only having movement because they were connected to my torso would speed me up a little bit without making the effort too great. I was just ahead of two other guys when I turned off on a side street and they continued straight and I was by myself again to enjoy the quiet and listen to my breathing. I was also hoping that I would see some of my group soon because I only had one 7 oz. flask of water left in my Fuel Belt. I looped around and headed back and just past "The Triangle" I saw two other gals in our group and I asked about water. They said it was about a mile back but soon our group leaders Dan and Anne appeared in the truck and they stopped so I could fill all my bottles. Having the cold bottles all around my waist felt great! I passed my buddy Terry and he slowed down his truck to see if I needed water and told him that I was good to go. I had to run the 11 ramp parking garage three times on the way back into the park. It was a hot one that morning and I went through at least 44 oz. of water on the run along with my S-caps.

After the run, I lead a stretch session so people can join in when ever they finish. I kept on hearing what a BAD run everyone had and how they were hurting. My guess was that this might have been their longest run in quite a while or their longest run ever. Add to that our heat and humidity and 14 miles can be a painful experience. Personally, I felt great. I am up to 25 miles a week and this week I have to go up to 27. We had breakfast at Goode Co. Taquaria and I had a big ol' plate of scrambled eggs and chicken fajitas! YUMMY!!! I also found out from Terry that he got a job. YEA Terry!!! He had been on "sabbatical" for the last two months since he had turned in his letter of resignation to his law firm back before Memorial Day.

As I was leaving breakfast I got a call from one of my tri buddies Mitch, who went to Clearwater for the 70.3 World Championships only to hear his sister's voice on the phone. Mitch had been in a very bad accident on a training ride on Thursday night and hit an 18-wheeler on his bike. He was taken by Life Flight to Herman Hospital (very famous here in Houston) and he had surgery on both of his hands to repair and reconnect tendons as well as insert pins and plates where the bones had been broken pretty badly. When I talked to him he was in pretty good spirits and said that he wished that he had planned to go to the Dean Karnazes movie instead of going on the ride. He does not remember the crash so details are still pretty sketchy about what happened. Mitch also shattered to vertebra in his neck so this morning at 7 am he went into surgery to fuse the spine with some cadaver bone. I got a text message at 11 am from his sister that he was out of surgery and doing well. I told Mitch that while he was recovering he had to pick out his new bike that he was going to buy. He said he already had been thinking about that. He was also going to see if he could have his IM Wisconsin entry transferred to next year or at least get a partial refund. He had qualified for Clearwater again so that looks like it is out as well. Mitch is a very positive person so I know that he will heal quickly and come back even stronger. It is just terrible that something like this had to happen to him. Thankfully, he is not as bad off as he could be. He is alert and able to communicate with us all and he has no spinal cord damage.

On Saturday afternoon I did some stuff around the house and then I had to get ready for my 20 year high school class reunion. I was only marginally interested in going and it was only at the last minute on last Thursday that I got my tickets to go. El Esposo and I dropped off the kid at the babysitters and headed down to the Houston Heights area for dinner and to enjoy the White Linen Night festival. Many of the restaurants, art galleries, antique shops, and boutiques provide live music, wine and cheese tastings, and a nice art festival atmosphere. After dinner, we headed to the reunion. I got my name tag and walked in the front door and saw my cousin and his wife who was in my graduating class, and then the group of people they were talking to went ape crazy seeing me and my short hair. If you remember from a past post, my hair used to be really long. They were also pretty surprised at my muscled out arms and asked me what I did. When I told them the whole "I do triathlons and run marathons" answer and that I was a full-time fitness trainer and coach, they were pretty surprised. At the 10 year reunion I was a high school English teacher so my current job is a big change from the last reunion. Well, I had a good time and got to see people that I have not seen in years. Some people looked exactly the same! Same hair cut, same type of clothing, same everything. Some of these gals needed a good stylist to get out of the 80's. Some people looked much older than the rest of us, some looked younger. Some had less hair, some had bigger waistlines. A buddy of mine from my swim team and water polo days now owns two dive shops on the island of Oahu, Hawaii! Pretty cool.

On Sunday morning I went out and put in 50+ miles on the bike in Montgomery county and I could sure tell that I had been off the bike for a while. There were some dark clouds that rolled in for the 7:30 am start and people were hanging back but since there had not been any thunder, I took off. I was by myself the whole time and I really enjoyed that. The clouds kept the sun and heat at bay until the halfway point of the ride. Once the sun came out, the heat was starting to get brutal. The forecast was for temps to reach 101 degrees on Sunday. Unlike Rainman's great pictures of Yogi Bear and Bambi, and cute squirrels that he sees on his rides, all I would have been able to take pictures of were buzzards, dead raccoons, cracked and smashed armadillos, flattened skunks, a white heron, and a good sized turtle that was successful enough to make it to the middle of the road. It was humid and hot, but I got the ride done in two hours and 37 minutes. I was back before everyone else and I packed it up and headed home. Once at home, I consumed an entire bag of Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips! Dang they were good. I guess I was low on salt, lol. After that 750 calories, I made a note to myself to take it easy on the food intake for the rest of the day.

El Esposo and the kid went to go see the Astros play the NY Mets so I decided to head to the movies. It was my chance to see a R movie. I had wanted to see WANTED so I showered up and headed to the cinema. WOW! That was an intense movie. Very bloody, violent, and intense. This is not a movie for those who have a weak stomach or did not enjoy The Departed. I tend to look beyond the "in your face" violence and look for the deeper message and this movie had an interesting question that it posed. Do you let fate predict how your life will be and you just let things happen to you, or do you take the tiger by the tail and take control of your life? In human behavior and psychology there is the concept of the Locus of Control and how humans react to the environment around them. Some people have an external locus meaning that they believe that things happen to them due to fate and they have no control over these events or that they have an inability to change what is happening. There are people who have an internal locus where they believe that they can react to what is happening to them to change the events. They feel that they have the ability to take control of the situation. Many people have a mix of both internal and external locus. Ok, so the main character feels that he has a terrible life, but that he is unable to do anything about it. His boss is awful, he lives on the bad side of town because he has no money, he knows that his best friend is doing him wrong and his relationship with his girlfriend is poor at best. He has to take medication to deal with the anxiety that he feels. Well through a series of events he is brought into the fold of a fraternity of assassins. He then feels like he has more control and that he leave his past existence behind. He believes that he is moving from an external locus to an internal locus life. However, there is someone who deciphers who the targets for the assassins are. This leader has become corrupt and he begins to make his own targets to suite his designs on power. Again our main character realizes that he is not in control. His life is still in external locus because he is not able to take control of the events. He make the decision that this will not do and that he must be able to react to the events rather than letting people walk all over him and control his life. He regains internal locus at the end of the film.

Ok, that was way too deep. But, I enjoyed the movie!

We found out that afternoon that there was a tropical storm brewing in the Gulf and we have made sure today to get enough batteries for the flashlights, fill the gas tanks on the cars in case power goes out and the electric pumps and the stations don't work for a few days, get the generator ready, and to clean up the lawn chairs, umbrella, and other items that could become a projectile in the winds. It will dump a lot of rain around here and I have cancelled the classes at the club for tomorrow. The storm should make landfall in Galveston around mid morning. We have already started to get heavy electrical storms roll through the area this evening. Since I do not have to teach my classes in the morning, it gives me a chance to get a run in before the storm hits and hopefully it will only be humid and not hot and humid. I was able to get into see the sports doc today and the little aches and pains in my torso and shoulders were caused by some of the vertebra in my neck and back being locked up as well as my left shoulder being lock up. Dr. D uses applied kinesiology to find some stuff and he asked me if someone in the house had a cold or if I was working with someone who was sick. NOPE, but my allergy shots have been really rough. I have been battling the burning eyes, hives all over the body, and congestion. Dr. D had me press on a spot in my hand and muscle weaknesses and areas of tenderness disappeared. Wacky! He said he had me pressing on a receptor spot for allergies and said that I needed to keep up with my Rescue Remedy and my Valor essential oil on the shoulders to stay as "loose as a goose". Is that crazy or what??? My allergies were affecting my running and biking performance due to muscle weakness.

Check back on STORM WATCH 2008-Edouard. I'm thinking that they have run out of names for these storms and are now resorting to the whacked out spellings that the celebrities are using to name their offspring. Stay tuned for Hurricane Maurice and Tropical Storm Suri.

Later Gators!


Friday, August 1, 2008

What a great inspiration!

I am so glad that I went to go see this documentary movie on Dean Karnazes! I read his book Ultra-Marathon Man last year and thought that he was kind of nutty, but cool nutty. Now I am totally inspired and I have another hero. 50 Marathons in each of the 50 States in 50 days! And then the man goes out and starts running west two days after the finish of the NY Marathon and a full day of press appearances and runs an additional 1.300 miles over 90 days back to St. Charles, MO where he started his journey. My coach has been asking me for years when I was going to do an ultra-distance run. I had thought about doing the Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World, but each year it fills up as fast as an Ironman race and I missed out on running it. Well, now I have a new goal. I think that I am going to register for the Sunmart 50K race in December. I will have just finished the San Antonio Rock n' Roll Marathon and coming off of a taper it would be a natural ramp up in miles again and then add another taper for the Houston Marathon.

My husband will think I am nuts. Well, he already thinks that, but now I will be a certified nut job. WHOO HOO!!!! I am pumped!!!

Later Gators,