Sunday, March 28, 2010

What a weekend!

I got back into the swing of my workouts again. It was nice to have things settle back into a good pattern. El Esposo is off in Chile for work and he has experienced aftershocks from the big earthquake multiple times during each day. I am sure that it is unsettling but at least the plates are not trapping all of that energy for another massive quake. He said that the destruction is incredible. The airport in Santiago is a series of tents set up in the parking lot. That's it, just tents! Roads are out due to collapsed bridges. The sheet rock is falling off the walls in his 4 star hotel and they only have water for one hour a day. There are a lot of the buildings that are in rubble. Sadly, we do not here about any of this on the news. Chile has gone under recognized in the news. The largest and strongest earthquake to be recorded and with many deaths due to collapsed buildings and tsunamis on the coast has left the minds of many Americans as the news and media still focus on Haiti. Please pray for the people of Chile as they work to get their lives and their country back in order.

On Friday after work I picked up the kid from the bus stop and drove him straight to the movie theater. I was in the mood for a movie. He was in the mood to go do something else so he was not super excited. We saw How to Train Your Dragon. I enjoyed it. Is it as good as UP!? Probably not, but it was good without delving into fart jokes that kids enjoy in the Shrek movies. What does surprise me is that I have seen lots of movie merchandising at the stores and I just don't think that it is a good idea to get a toddler a bedspread with menacing dragons on it. Sounds like a good recipe for nightmares.

After raking the front lawn and picking the kid up from swim practice we watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Wow! Are those some stubborn lunch ladies or what? I was appalled that the kids wanted to eat the "nuggets" that Jamie made out of a chicken carcass, fat, and left overs. I am not sure if that was more shocking OR the classroom of kids who could not identify what a tomato was. The amount of good food and untouched fruit that those kids were throwing away was shameful. At least Jamie was allowed to stay on for another week or two to see how his meals work out at the school. I will be watching this show again this week.

Here is a picture of Jamie making those Nasty Nuggets for the kids. He is pushing the gunk through a mesh strainer to separate any bones chips that might still be in the mix. YUCK!

On Saturday morning I took 7 of my TNT tri group out to Chappell Hill, TX for a hilly bike ride. Little did I know, but hundreds of other cyclists were bearing down on tiny little Chappell Hill for an organized MS-150 training ride. I usually do not like riding with these people because they are sketchy on their bike handling skills and they are wheel suckers. We were only set to do 24 miles and I hoped that our route would break off of the huge pack. We divided into two groups of 4 and assigned buddies if things got strung out in the packs. I hung with Matt and kept him challenged up at the front. We were able to get out in front of some of the huge riding packs and we booked it to the first turn 7 miles up the road. This was good because we did not have any wheel suckers and there were some stretches of road where the next person was 100 yds up and we could stay down in the aerobars and jam the hills. We waited at the corner for Lauren and Amy to roll up and then we took the turn that everyone else was taking.

I was over dressed! The leg warmers came off after 7 miles.

At least it was for only 3 miles but there were some big hills and Matt and I got trapped behind some packs that were all over the road. I caught a good look up the road and the hill and saw it was clear and swung around into the oncoming lane to humped it to the front of the pack. I passed some cheezer dude who had music blaring out of speakers somewhere on his bike and the dude grabbed onto my back wheel and stuck like glue. CRAP. NOOOOO! I don't want to hear your Jimmy Buffet music! Get off my back wheel!!! All I could hear the rest of the way up the hill was that damn music. At the top I kicked up the gears and took off and heard the music start to fade away. I took a quick look over my shoulder and saw that Matt was still there. Matt told me the music dork was sticking like glue because he was enjoying the view. Blech! We got to the corner and took the right turn and pulled over to wait for Lauren and Amy while everyone else took the left turn.

Lauren, Amy, and Matt standing in the Texas Bluebonnets.

We had the shoulder all to ourselves to work against the wind and the chip-seal on the road surface as we pushed over some big rollers. 3 miles up the road we saw David, our SAG driver and he gave me an update about where the other group of 4 was. I was comfortable hanging with the first group because the second group was made up of 3 alumni members who have done this route before and only one new TNT participant. Lauren and Amy pulled up and we pedaled on down the road to look for a good patch of bluebonnets to get some photos. As we were finishing photos, Jill and Ana rolled up and we got their picture as well. The bluebonnets were not out last weekend like this and they are only going to get thicker and more colorful in the next week!

We were headed back in to Chappell Hill and headed straight into the wind. We had 4 humbling hills ahead of us and I knew we might spread out. Matt hung with me and I don't think that he ever got more than 100 yards behind me. We worked the hill and the headwinds. The last hill into town in a soul crusher. We had to work to gain speed on the last downhill and then we had speeds in the single digits and the impending feeling that you might just bust a lung before you get to the first intersection at the top of the hill. From the intersection, I spun my way back to the car and Matt was not far behind me. After a bathroom break, Lauren and Amy were rolling up as well. Everyone was back to the cars in less than two hours so in my eyes, the ride was a success.

Jill and Ana with their bikes.

We got back to town and unloaded bikes and headed home to get cleaned up for our TEAM Crawfish Boil put on by Coach Dan who runs the swim workouts for me. The turnout was fantastic! There was 400 lbs. of crawfish and I think it was almost all gone at the end of the event. My kid had fun at the craps table and made out like a bandit. Yes, I am a bad parent and let my 11 year-old gamble. He got raffle tickets for his winnings and then proceeded to win a 2-lap thrill ride in either a BMW or a NASCAR at a local racing track. He was very excited. I ate a big foil roasting pan full of crawfish so eating diner was not high on my list. I proceeded to lounge on the sofa and watch the House Marathon on the Bravo Channel last night.

This morning I was up early again and I met Greyhound at Memorial Park at 6:15 for a long run. My coach had given me a 3-hour run but Greyhound was having none of that. We took off into the dark and the glow of the street lamps at the park on a good warm-up pace. We needed to warm up because the temp was around 55 degrees. Fine for shorts, but there was no way I was leaving my long-sleeve shirt at the car. As we started heading west out of the park we had seen another pair that was on a trail that was merging into our route. We had stayed ahead of them for quite some time but when we pulled over to walk so Greyhound could take his jacket off and tie it around his waist, the pair passed us. We took off again and passed them up but it
seemed that they were hanging with us. It was mildly annoying because the guy was talking his head off. Greyhound and I were keeping our pieholes shut and I could tell that Greyhound was picking up the pace so that we could drop them. Every corner we took, they were not far behind because we could hear his jabbering. We even cut across the street and dodged into a residential area, but before long I could hear Mr. Motormouth. Greyhound was taking it up a notch and I was trailing 5 or 6 strides behind him and wondering when we would be able to stop and get a gel because we were now about 45 minutes into the run. We seemed to loose the pair when we jumped back out of the residential area, raced back across the street and ran into River Oaks. As we took the first left once we got into the neighborhood we checked over our shoulders and we did not see them. It was Hammer Gel time! Greyhound said he put on the surge to loose them. Thankfully, our pace got back to a non-surge pace. We ran past all the big mansions and gated driveways of all the big movers and shakers in Houston and had the streets all to ourselves. We had a group of fast guys pass us around mile 7 but then they pulled up and took a water break near a garden that has a spigot. As we continued out of River Oaks, over the bayou and started to head back to the east end of the park. A little after mile 8, two of the fast guys passed us again and Greyhound said he was going to push the pace for the next mile until we got back to the park. I tried to hang with him at first but then I drifted back about 30 feet and I was fine with that. We ran across the street to get on the trail that led into the park and I watched Greyhound pull away on the last 400 meters before we joined everyone else that was running the trail that goes around the golf course. Once we got on the loop we did a nice easy 3/4 of a mile back to where we had parked and where there was an area to stretch.

We did not wear our heart rate monitors and Greyhound only turned on his Garmin for mileage. We got 10 mile done in just about 90 minutes and that included four walking breaks for gels, jackets, and water. Not bad. The thought of running another 90 minutes on my own was not a happy thought. I was tired so I headed home, took a shower and crawled back into bed and slept for another 90 minutes.

This afternoon, the kid had a 2-hour swim clinic with Olympic medalist, Margaret Hoelzer. He enjoyed it a lot and said that they did relays at the end and Margaret only beat him by half a body length. I did not want to tell him that she probably was not swimming very hard. I cannot wait to unleash this kid on a sprint tri later this year or next year and see what kind of swim time he cracks out. He is faster than me now and mom is pretty proud of that.

We finished up the day by going back to Memorial Park for the Bayou City Arts Festival. There were lots of neat things to see and lots of people watching to be done. There were artists from all over the U.S. with paintings, photography, sculpture, woodwork, blown glass, jewelry, mixed media work, textiles, leather work, and even hand made musical instruments. There were tents for wine tasting and an area that had Asian, Greek, Italian, French, Cajun, Indian, and Mexican food to eat. The only thing that I saw that I would have bought was a beautiful Asian watercolor painting of koi on pale blue silk. However, I did not have $450 on hand so I passed on it.

So, I got some good training in and had some other fun as well this weekend. We are hoping that El Esposo gets to come home from Chile for Easter and so we can celebrate his birthday that took place last week. I am hoping that we can get away after TNT training to go out to Canyon Lake to see my Dad and Val for Easter.

Have a great week!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010 this a trick???

There is a 50% off sale, but I have to walk into the shark's jaws. Do I just stand here and look at it or do I get a closer look?

Last week I was in a deep funk about not getting to go on my holiday to Mexico. I think I was more bummed out that I had gone out and spent a chunk of change for a few new things to wear when I had told myself that I was not going to do that. I really should not feel bad because I don't buy "real people" clothing. I only buy clothing that has Cool-Max or Dry-Fit in it. So now I feel like I have to go into my closet and clean out all the "real people" clothing that I am really not wearing and pass it on to people who do wear "real people" clothing.

But then I felt bummed out about my work clothes that do contain Cool-Max and Dry-Fit. Almost all of my gym pants are looking like cow dung. They have snags and some how they seemed to have shrunk. Really, how do polyester pants shrink? To get them to look long enough in the leg so it does not look like I am still going through puberty and out growing my pants, I have to pull them down in the waist so that the crotch is midway down my thigh. I'm too old to be wearing low rise pants. I have been eating too many cup cakes to wear low rise pants. I have not been running or riding my bike enough to be wearing low rise pants. Ugh!

But I feel guilty about going out and buying new pants for work because Nike and other companies want to charge me $65 or more for a pair of pants and I need at least 4 pairs. And I spent that money on a Ralph Lauren dress and a new pair of Guess heels for this stupid cruise that got canceled. I should not feel guilty but the stupid bank took it upon themselves to raise the interest rate on my credit card to 27.98% and upped my minimum payment so that it is now more than one of my paychecks at the gym. The bank was also nice enough to let me know that if I just pay the minimum payment I will be 76 when it is paid off.

All I can say is I am still trying to pay off my husband's aunt's funeral from 2006 that I got stuck paying with my credit card because no one else in the family could pay to lay to poor lady to rest. Damn, funerals are expensive and can put you in debt. I can't use my credit card, even though they upped my credit limit, because of the guilt of spending money.

So since there is major guilt about spending money I have not registered for anything. Not even a local sprint tri. I did a 5K back in February but it was a race in honor of a friend. I would look like a heel to not support my good friend. Since I do not have a race on the schedule I do not feel an impending sense of doom to train my butt off and I really have no way to see if any of the training that I have been doing is paying off. I feel like I have no direction and it is unsettling.

Now our family is just fine and we have plenty to cover all the monthly bills and to blow a bunch of money on a cruise that got canceled. I'm just freaking out because I worked for a paycheck that covered my coaching and triathlon costs. I never asked El Esposo to float me money to go to Switzerland and do a race or to pay for all of the costs that go into covering two Ironman races. I made sure that my paycheck covered that. And then I got demoted and started only making a third of what I had been pulling in on my pay check. Now I could have cracked my ass to get more clients and make more money, but I was also pulling back on my hours to be home at night and not have early morning classes every morning to make sure I got the kid off to school and to swim practice. And frankly I did not want to give up my Thursdays where I have enough time to do a long bike ride or run when the kid is at school.

Basically, I am just being a whiny idiot and I need to get over it and get off my butt and go run.

I just need some cowbell. Major cowbell.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010


There is no way to sugar-coat it. The cruise to Cozumel was canceled. I could have posted a message about this fact last Thursday or Friday, but I was just too bummed out to do it. So for the past few days I have been taking a Staycation since I canceled my PT clients and subbed out my classes at the gym.

When we left the house on Thursday, the sun was shining and the weather was warm. As we got south of Houston and about 14 miles from the island the fog started settling in. As we got to the causeway bridge to go from the mainland to the island, you could not see the top of it. I have seen fog in Galveston before, but never this thick. It choked out the sunlight and left everything grey and gloomy and visibility was only about one or two blocks.

At the cruise terminal we were told that the ship was not it yet (it should have docked at 7 am) and that we might want to catch lunch and shop along the historic Strand. I was happy with this because for all the times I have been down to the island since Hurricane Ike, I have always been down on the West End riding my bike and I have not been to the East End and to The Strand in a few years. I am happy to report that the city of Galveston has done a lot of work to revitalize and clean up after the storm. I know that there is still a lot to do but I was very impressed with how good things looked. The only ominous sign that I kept seeing were the Ike water level markers on the walls of the buildings that were over my head. This island was 8 feet under water in many areas.

We did some shopping and had a late lunch at a wonderful Greek restaurant called Olympia where the kid and I shared a flaming plate of Sakanaki. Checking back in at the cruise terminal we were told to go to the Galveston Convention Center for more updates. Once there we found out that the ship was still anchored 15 miles off-shore and they hoped that the fog would lift the next day to be able to dock. If so, the ship would need 5 hours to do a "turn around" and prepare the ship to leave again by 4 pm. From there the ship would only go 12-13 miles off shore to get into International Waters for gambling and duty-free shopping. The cruise would not be going to Cozumel so everyone would get a $20 refund of port fees. One day would be refunded and each person would get 20% their next cruise booking.

Um, NO...HELL NO!!! This was a Christmas gift and I was not spending $1600.00 to sit a few miles off shore and drink my self silly and gamble all of my money away for two days. It would still be too chilly to enjoy the pool. NO!

There are no refunds but we do have full credit to rebook the same cruise in the next 24 months. We drove home and my poor kid had to go to school the next day to take two tests that I did not want him to make up after spring break. El Esposo went in to work and I did yard work. At least the weather has been nice but I have been pretty bummed out. I have not even gotten my run mojo back. I have to find it.

I have to find it because I made these and I have been eating them...

Looking for my mojo. Happy St. Patrick's Day.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

I liked it so much...

...that I am headed back to Cozumel, Mexico!!! This time the family is coming along. We are leaving today and I will be back next Wednesday with lots of fun photos. Fear not, I will be running and swimming while I am there and if I find a spin bike I will hop on that as well.

Adios Amigos!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Today would have been my mom's 70th birthday. I am not sure she would have been thrilled that she was 70. She was always telling people she was 29. I told her that she had an option. She could either stop telling people she was 29 on the 29th year of being 29 or when I hit age 29. Anyway, if she were alive today I am sure she would be pretty happy to be 70. We would have had an AWESOME party!

In her honor I gave my son 10 Grandma Facts that he did not know about her and we are going to go get an ice cream cone.

Please tell your mother, or a special mother in your life, how much you love them and how much their hard work of raising children is appreciated.

Have a GREAT day!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Jump For Joy!

I feel like this guy in the photo. Seriously! It may be pouring outside and the temps are chilly but I am super stoked. You read in the last post that I had to go to the ortho doc to see about my knee, well here is the update.

Last Friday I met Dr. Lheaman and we talked about my knee. He seemed to be very excited that I was a runner and also a personal trainer. He did an ultra-sound of my knee and said that it looked very healthy and that he did not see any calcification of the patellar tendon. He did see a tiny spot that he thought might be a micro-tear in the lower portion of the patellar tendon. He gave it a few jabs with his finger and it was a little sore. The decision was to try prolotherapy where glucose is injected directly into the tendon at the injury site to prompt the body to start the healing process, but at a rapid pace. Since a tendon does not have the amount of blood flow to it like a muscle, the prolotherapy would heal the spot injury in as little as two to 4 weeks rather than double that on it's own. An appointment was made and I was told to start taking Omega 3 and Glucosamine. I could continue to exercise and if the discomfort was too bad, I could take a Tylenol.

I started taking the Omega 3 and Glucosamine last weekend. Greyhound talked me into doing a long run with him on Sunday morning before church. I could feel the knee, but it was not painful enough to affect my pace. On one or two occasions, Greyhound had to reel me in for going too fast. We got our 9 miles done and I was happy with the outcome. I did a little 5K run on Monday and could feel the knee, but again it was more annoying than painful. Tuesday I skipped out on running because Houston was getting sleet and snow flurries and I did not want to run on the roads with drivers who are distracted. I would have done a treadmill but I did not think the weather conditions would deteriorate so quickly in the afternoon when I left the gym at 10 am. After dealing with a barfy husband Tuesday night and Wednesday morning I had to get out of the house and away from the germs. My run on Wednesday was INCREDIBLE!!! NO PAIN AT ALL!!! It was as if nothing had ever been wrong with my knee. I ran again on Thursday and again, NO PAIN! I was wondering if this was a fluke. No pain on my Friday run! No pain on my Saturday run! I had to skip out yesterday because Bud had a huge swim meet all weekend long and I was volunteering all day Sunday.

I don't know if it is the Omega 3 and Glucosamine doing their job or just that my knee got scared of injections and shaped up. Anyway, I am super happy. Today I get to contact Dr. Lheaman and tell him about my knee. My prolotherapy was supposed to start next week, but that may not happen now.

More jump for joy news, Bud had his Spring Champs Short Course Swim Meet this past weekend. On Friday night he swam the 200 IM in 3:04.27 and dropped 8 seconds off of his time. He missed a "B" time by one second. On Saturday he swam the 50 Breaststroke in 43.48 and earned a "B" time and 7th place in the 11-12 year old age group. Next was the 50 Free in 32.15 again earning a "B" time and a 5th place finish. He finished off Saturday with the 100 Backstroke in 1:26.75 and 5th place in his age group. Sunday was busy again starting with the 100 Free in 1:12.79 and a "B" time and an 8th place finish. The 50 Backstroke was next with a finish time of 38.93 "B" time and a 7th place finish. His last individual event was the 100 Breaststroke with a finish time of 1:38.52 and an 8th place finish. He also swam a relay. Seventh and Eighth place may not sound like it is really high, but there are about 28 to 45 kids swimming in each event and as many as 63 in events like the 50 Free. Mom is very proud of her swimmer!

Last bit of Jump for Joy news. This past Friday was the 12th birthday for our Team in Training Honored Teammate Maddy. She was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia two years ago just a few weeks before her 10th birthday. Today, Maddy is healthy and has one more chemo treatment in March!!! Our TNT tri team had a birthday party for her after our practice and I made her a cake of the most awesome deliciousness, an Oreo Cake!

It was a big hit and there was only one piece left for me to take home to Bud. Maddy was granted a wish from the Make a Wish Foundation and this June she and her mother get to go to South Africa and attend the World Cup! Super Exciting!

Well, that is the news from this neck of the woods. There is some more exciting stuff on the horizon that I will be passing along to you. Until then.....

Later Gators,