Monday, December 15, 2008


As if I needed another reminder, this is what I caught on the drive home this evening. I wish I had thought about it first, but my creativity only went as far as "262" and a black magic marker.

I've been thinking a lot about 26.2 lately, like almost every day, which is odd because I haven't been running. Yet, reminders like this one tonight are everywhere.

When I'm not running, every day seems like a perfect day for running. 79F (not a typo), sunny, and windy yesterday? Perfect. 26F (not a typo) and freezing rain tonight? Sounds perfect too. Am I nuts?

When I'm running, I can't stop thinking about stopping. When I'm not running, I can't stop thinking about running. Is this insane?

I've browsed the 2009 marathon calendar so many times, I should start my own online dating service for runners seeking races.

Yesterday marked two years since my marathon PR at Dallas White Rock. It was a bittersweet anniversary. My PR was fueled by adrenaline and temps in the mid-30s. Yesterday was unseasonably warm, average finish times plummeted, and one runner sadly did not make it home. My condolences to the family.

It's such a sad story each time this happens. My soul searching continues even though I already know the answer. I'll find another race to run. I'll train. I'll push. I'll keep going. And then I'll take whatever the race gives me.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The First Race Is Over

I didn't intend to record every Texas game since TX-OU (photo credits: CSTV), but I'm not about to break with tradition. We ended the regular season on a high note last night:

#4 Texas 49
Texas A&M 9

Now it's up to the pollsters to determine where we go next. Unless you're a rabid Texas fan, you wouldn't care less about the crazy formulas involved.

The Turkey Trot was yesterday, White Rock is around the corner, plus countless holiday season runs. I'm not in any of them. Without a race to pace me along, I've only been running here and there for fun. Or trying to at least. The weather has been crisp and cool - ideal for running. I try not to watch the clock or the HR, and just go.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On Hold

I've been thinking for a few weeks now that I can catch up on my blog reading. It hasn't happened. I didn't even watch the last two Texas games:

#5 Texas 45
Baylor 21

#4 Texas 35
Kansas 7

Since our All Sports weekend 2 weeks ago, things have not let up. Syd joined a newly formed 1st grade basketball team with many of her old soccer buddies. A team name has not yet been picked but I suspect the Funky Monkeys may be making a comeback.

Sam started club volleyball practices and reported back that practice was "hard". We have 3 out of town meets this season, Oklahoma City, Denver, and Baltimore. I am happy for her whenever I can stop thinking about the $$$.

Steph had another Cheer Meet already, yesterday in Ft. Worth. Cheer Meet parents are still scary.

Work has been busy, which in this economy is a good thing and I count myself fortunate to be in this position. I was in Indianapolis and Louisville last week, and I'm in Cincinnati (tonight) and Cleveland this week. It's all good.

With all this going on, something's gotta give. I've run sporadically, but I try to get at least 2 runs in a week, sometimes 3. LHR training is still an enigma, although coach BQ'd at NYC recently running 3:30.

If you don't find me commenting, I'm sorry, I hope this is a temporary break.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

All Sports All Weekend

Congratulations to Texas Tech - they played a heck of a game and deserved to win. There is no shame losing to the 7th ranked team, especially when we came from behind all game long to go ahead with 1:29 left, only to lose on a last-second TD.

#1 Texas (8-1) 33
#7 Texas Tech (9-0) 39

I ran the DRC Half this morning, hoping for a better result. Alas, the PR is intact, and was not even threatened today. Unofficial time 2:10. No excuses - just didn't get it done. I'm gonna have to re-evaluate this LHR training thing - you betcha. Thanks Susan, sorry I couldn't find you at the finish.

But the weekend was not a total loss!

The Funky Monkeys finished the fall season 7-1 for a terrific record for this new team. Syd found her groove back and scored a bunch of goals and a bunch of assists to spread the wealth around. Way to go Syd!

The Renner Mustangs 7th grade Silver Team won the championship in Plano. With only 8 girls to rotate in for the championship game, they came back after losing the first set to win. Way to go Sam!

It's also club tryout weekend and Sam made her first club team this year - she'll be playing for Team PSA Volleyball Club!

That leaves one more. Steph competed in her first cheerleading meet and let me tell you, some of these parents (not ours of course) are pretty scary. OK, most of them. Anyway, in the National Cheerleaders Association North Texas Classic, the Pride All-Stars came in 2nd in their Level 3 division. Way to go Steph!

I'm exhausted, but happy. Now, when does Texas play again?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'll Escape With This For One More Week

#1 TEX (8-0) 28
#6 OKLA ST (7-1) 24

You can't always blow out a top-10 team, so I'm happy to escape with this win. I missed the game while camping all weekend with my 1st grader in our YMCA Adventure Princess program. With no TV and spotty radio reception, there were quite a few dads thumbing the blackberrys for espn updates.

Sorry folks, I'm so behind on reading. Between camping in Oklahoma and a business trip to Vegas last week, my last run was on Wednesday. Time to get moving again.

In the meantime, next up for the Longhorns, #6 Texas Tech next Saturday in Lubbock.

Hook 'em Horns!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'll Savor This For One More Week

#1 TEX (7-0) 56
#11 MIZZ (5-2) 31

I went for a 2 hr 10 min celebration run this morning and it was great! Coach is changing up my training plan and we're going to put the LHR training to the test at the DRC Half on November 2nd. It's all engines go to see how fast I can bring it home come race day.

In the meantime, next up for the Longhorns, #7 Oklahoma State next Saturday in Austin.

Hook 'em Horns!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I'll Savor This For At Least A Week

#5 TEX (6-0) 45
#1 OKLA (5-1) 35

I have a 2-hr celebration run tomorrow to prepare for my date with the DRC Half on November 2nd.

In the meantime, next up for the Longhorns, #3 MIZZOU next Saturday in Austin.

Hook 'em Horns!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Running The Table

Between a little bit of travel, the presidential debates, college football, 1st grade soccer, 7th grade volleyball, and work, I took the week off from running last week. It's the first week since 1/1/08 that I did not run at all. Illogically, I felt like 9 months of consistent base building was draining by the minute ...

But back to business. My beloved Longhorns and QB Colt McCoy are holding up so far, now 5-0 and ranked #5. Sweaty palms and churning stomachs are about to explode this weekend. It's the annual TX-ou weekend in Dallas, with ou ranked #1. National Championship is there for the taking, if we can deliver the goods, yet the road ahead is no cream puff schedule. Our next four consecutive games:

Oct 11 #1 Oklahoma (5-0)
Oct 18 #3 Missouri (5-0)
Oct 25 #17 Oklahoma State (5-0)
Nov 1 #7 Texas Tech (5-0)

Combined record of our next four opponents ... (20-0) ... gulp. If we lose, I'm going for a very very long run.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tour de Fleurs 20K

How quickly a year has gone by since I ran this race in '07. I've intentionally had a very light race card since then, although it includes 2 marathons (Memphis, Disney) and 1 half (Hottest). I miss running 5Ks and 10Ks most weekends like I did back in '05 and '06 - I'll get back to them after I reach my marathon goal. I ran with Susan last Saturday, which came with the added benefit of a fully baked race report (start after the part about "constipation" though). What a deal!

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's All About Physics

In the early days of LHR training, I did a lot of out and backs, leading to Garmin maps that looked like this:

Then I was told I needed to hydrate every 15 mins. I'm really not into the fuel belt thing, so I stash my gatorade along my route and run in tighter circles, up and down side streets, and generally stick close to the neighborhood, resulting in a Garmin map that looks like this instead:

This week I busted through to a new level, apparently traversing land and water with equal ease, with no detrimental effect on HR or pace:

Next week I may try to defy gravity.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

WKRP Where Are You?

I had a great run this morning in Cincinnati. Despite the unflattering view outside my hotel, the view about three-quarter mile away along the Ohio River was quite magnificent, even better in the pre-dawn darkness.

I've run across this bridge once before, back in Nov '06. At the time, I stayed on the Cincinnati side, ran across the river and turned left to run along a small park. This time, I was already on the Kentucky side and to the right of the bridge. It turned out to be even more picturesque.

Greek Revival and Victorian homes from the 1800's lined the first 3-4 streets running parallel to the river. Life-sized bronzes lined the river - here's James Audubon overlooking the point where the Licking River flows into the Ohio.

I had a 15-min warmup followed by 5x12's with 2-min walks in between on the plate this morning, all at 144 HR (64% of max). With temps in the low 50's, I was cruising at a much better pace than I'm used to, with a negative split to boot!

This weekend, I shall return for another running of the Tour de Fleurs 20K with Susan. As if the Hottest Half last month wasn't enough, we're also both signed up for the DRC Half in November. Like Pavlov's dog, every time Susan calls, I'm staring at a 20K minimum buy-in.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Nastia Liukin had a victory parade this morning in her hometown of Parker, TX. She trains at her dad's gym in Plano, so I figured Parker must be reasonably close but I wasn't sure where it is, until ... duh, 100m from my front door is none other than Parker Road. We're on the west side of Plano, so follow the road to East Plano, then beyond that to Parker, about 30-40 mins away. It's also where Southfork Ranch is.

We missed the morning parade, but Nastia was going to be at JC Penney in the afternoon from 2-4PM. We've already met one all-around gold medalist, and were looking forward to another. We got to the mall at 1:20PM and there was no way we were going to get in line, not with at least 1,000 people in line already. With only a 2 hour window, I didn't think the line would make it all the way. So we decided to just hang out and take pictures when she showed up:

There might have been a few bruised elbows and trampled toes to get those pics, but at least no clothing racks fell over!

In post-Olympic news, there was another track meet last week, the Weltklasse Zürich, and it was nice to see some US athletes win what they missed in Beijing:

- 100M Hurdles Lolo Jones (Olympic 7th)
- 200M (W) Allison Felix (Olympic Silver)
- 400M (M) Jeremy Wariner (Olympic Silver)
- 400M (W) Sanya Richards (Olympic Bronze)

You know, another thing bugs me about sports coverage. The Olympics were a huge hit for NBC, averaging 27.7 million viewers per night. The biggest draws for them - gymnastics, swimming, and track and field. Night after night, hands down, no contest. How many world-class gym meets, swim meets, and track meets do you think we'll see between now and 2012?



Sunday, August 24, 2008

Susan Smoked Me

My legs still hurt from this morning's race. I ran with Susan, both of us using this as a training run, she for Chicago and me because my coach said so. I was under strict orders to stay under a HR in the 160's or so.

We were good for the first half of the half, doing it in 1:02, pretty much on pace, HR below 160. I had to drop back after that, and Susan kept getting further and further in front until I pretty much lost sight of her. From miles 7 to 11 I ran-walked to keep the HR in the "or so" zone.

At the mile 11 marker I said %#*@-it and took off. I started passing people, maybe about 30 or 40 of them. It took almost all of 2 miles to catch up to Susan, but I did, and I finished one step behind her. Unofficially, 2:16:00.

Thanks Susan for dragging me* out there - the company was excellent!

* Beware the revisionist posting over at Susan's world of make-believe blog

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Olympic Men's Marathon

The Olympic Marathons are just awe inspiring. I watched the 2004 Athens marathons from the comfort of my sofa, which led to my first half in late 2004 and my first full in 2005, and I've never looked back.

I watched tonight's men's marathon, again amazed at how fast these guys cover the miles. Knowing now what goes on during a race and how difficult it can be, I felt for 4th place finisher Deriba Merga who looked to kick in another gear at the end and found the well dry. Definitely been there.

While I'm glad NBC covered the race live and in full, the more I think back, the more I feel they could have done a much better job. I thought they spent way too much time on the lead pack, and lost out on all the plots and sub-plots brewing behind. Here's what I would have done, asked, and covered more:

- Where's Stefano Baldini, 2004 gold medalist? What's he doing back there? How did he end up in 12th place?

- How did Ryan Hall pick off runners, moving from the 20's to finish in 10th place?

- What's up with Dathan Ritz running ahead of Ryan for the entire race?

- How did Hendrick Ramaala, 2004 NYC winner, go from lead pack to finish in 44th?

- How did Martin Lel, 2007 London and NYC winner, drop off the lead pack in the 2nd half, and then come back to almost beat a wiped-out Merga at the finish, settling for 5th place.

- Show the view from the chase pack looking ahead at the lead pack. Are they gaining or fading? I think the chase pack is where there's more tension, more heartache. It's where the fight is, the mind games, the struggle to close the gap.

- Despite their overwhelming coverage of the lead pack, when Wanjiru made his move to break away of the lead pack for good, NBC missed it, and we saw Ritz and Hall running through a water stop instead. Their lead pack camera crew should be given an automatic pass to cut back in anytime they see someone making a move.

- Now that I think about it, the NBC commentators told us precious little about the 3 eventual winners. It's like they hardly knew who they were.

What else do you think they should have done?

And London - you can do better!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Hola from Puerto Vallarta

Now I remember why I need to keep my job. We’ve been here since Thursday, I got a new tattoo poolside, and I’m off from work all next week. We’re staying in the Marina Vallarta district, with Bahia de Banderas and the Pacific Ocean outside our hotel window. Every day has been spent going between pool and beach and back. It’s been a year since our last beach vacation, and we’re going to make the most of it!

I ran Friday morning. Didn’t pay attention to sunrise time and got up at 6:00 am to pitch darkness. It started to barely lighten up sometime past 7:00 am, and I headed out a couple miles to the main Boulevard Francisco Medina Ascencio that runs from the airport to town. Once at the main road, I encountered lots of locals heading out or arriving for work. On my return leg, I followed a mass of people and wound up at the Marina itself, which they were using as a shortcut to a major high rise construction project on the opposite side. I continued back to my hotel, ending up on the beach for a post-run dip in the bay.

One night, we took that same road into town for dinner at El Arrayan, a traditional Mexican restaurant recommended by the concierge. It was a simple down-to-earth place, open-air with a small central courtyard. Everything on the menu was recognizable and well prepared with really fresh ingredients, although we declined the daily special – fried crickets. After dinner we walked down to the boardwalk, or Melecon, where we found this wonderful art.

It probably didn’t last the evening, because it started to rain buckets. We caught a taxi back to the hotel, and promptly got stuck in a massive traffic jam. With no A/C, no movement, and high humidity, we had the windows cracked open half-way just to keep from fogging up, but it still felt like sitting in a sauna and shower all at once! Soaked to the bones and going nowhere fast crammed inside this taxi, we just had to laugh off this unexpected adventure!

Tomorrow (Sunday) calls for 1-hr run, more beach, and more pool. Somehow, I’ll survive. The worst part of this trip has been getting tattooed by these artists, and then being forced against my will to pose for this picture. Somehow, I'll survive that too.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

El Scorcho Is A First Class Event

Congratulations to Ryan for organizing and running a top notch event last night. The volunteers, the course, water stops, food, timing, parking, all worked flawlessly literally in the middle of the night. Ryan, dude - I'll be back next year for sure!

It was 9:00 pm Saturday night, t-minus 3 hours to race time, and I was at home wondering if I should shower, eat another pre-race snack, or take a nap. I ended up doing all of the above, got up at 10:15 pm and headed out to Ft Worth.

I arrived about 11:15 pm, easily found parking, and ran into fellow DFW runner Kevin while walking to packet pickup. We also found Ryan who had been out there all day setting up, and was looking at an all-nighter on top of that.

At midnight, Ryan sent off the 50K runners. That's some serious mileage. About 10 minutes later, he set us 25K runners off. El Scorcho was underway. 5 loops of a 5K course in Trinity Park just off downtown Ft Worth. Beautiful course lit by an occasional streetlamp but mostly by a full moon. One section ran alongside the Trinity River with the Ft Worth skyline standing silently along the other bank. Long stretches of crushed limestone paths weaved their way under a canopy of tress spread throughout the park. There was even a slight, gently breeze at times!

Under strict orders to maintain my LHR training by running under 144 HR, I wasn't sure if I could keep my HR low enough long enough - it usually climbs the longer I run as the body weakens, and I haven't run longer than an hour fifteen or so without this happening. Well imagine my surprise:

1st 5K - avg HR 143
2nd 5K - avg HR 144
3rd 5K - avg HR 144
4th 5K - avg HR 144
5th 5K - avg HR 146

I've gone from obsessing over pace to obsessing over HR! For the entire 25K, avg HR 144, avg pace 12:16/mile, total time 3:10:34. I think that's one of my slowest, if not the slowest, races I've ever run, but I'm thrilled with the base building at 64% - sorry for the HR mumbo jumbo, but it's a big deal for me to finally maintain some decent mileage burning FAT instead of glycogen! I carried 3 and only ate 1 GU all night, and I finished the race almost as fresh as I started.

After the run, I had some pasta with marinara sauce (yum!), watched some more runners, probably 50K-ers, and then headed home. I pulled into my garage at 4:40 am, showered, and got in bed by 5:00 am. Perfect!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Austin Hill Country

We just got back from a week in Austin. Even though I had to work, it was nice to get away and the kids always enjoy a hotel stay. This was an impromptu trip - I was looking for a place to stay and stumbled upon an incredible price on Expedia - $105/night for the Barton Creek Resort which is a a fantastic place. So my client gets a great deal on my expense report, the family gets a free hotel stay, and everyone had a great time.

We drove down Sunday morning, arriving in time for lunch poolside. It was HOT, but perfect for hanging out by the pool all afternoon. Barton Creek is set in the hills of West Austin, and the area is just gorgeous. While you can't stop all development, Austin has done a pretty good job keeping the hills from being overrun. Some areas are kept off limits altogether, and others are used sparingly, which means the few homes that do get built are just magnificent. And expensive.

Being the sucker that I am, I just had to try running the hills. I had a 45 min run on Monday and a 60 min run on Wednesday to keep up with my LHR training. See those 2 white water towers dead center in the picture? Looks far away but it's only about 2.5 miles one-way. 5 tortuous hilly miles round-trip. With inclines that busted my heart rate. With declines that could wipe you out if you didn't run with your brakes on. But it was all good. I ended both runs with a solitary dip in the pool (yes, I did shower off first, duh). And it was still only 7:30am :-)

I'm glad I ran, because I sure as hell ate. After work each day, I was so ready to meet up with the family again. I don't know Austin well enough anymore to know all the good places, but there are a few reliable local favorites. We hit Magnolia Cafe, Chuy's Tex-Mex, County Line BBQ, and tried a new place Gumbo's. Along the way, there might have been a Shiner or two.

The pièce de résistance? Our new discovery - the kids only saved half of one for me, but it was absolutely the best I've ever had. I'm not kidding. I take my cupcakes very seriously.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What's Next, Daisy?

Daisy had a rough start. Before she turned two, she had already delivered a litter, been abandoned overnight at an animal shelter with her puppies, contracted heartworms, and was severely underweight. After we adopted her, we spent the next twelve years trying to make up for those first two. I like to think she’d say we did her alright.

Daisy left us last week. Our Crazy Daisy is gone.

The night she passed away, I lit a candle for her in our bedroom. Her bed was still on the floor next to our fireplace, where a few hours ago Daisy had taken her last nap. I put the candle in the fireplace, switched off the lights, and was stunned to see a sight we had never seen before. That single flame picked up the curling fleurs-de-lis pattern in the fireplace screen and projected a magnified silhouette of it across the entire room, floor to ceiling, and all four walls. In silence, we watched as the flame flickered, and the whole room came alive as the shadows tossed and swayed all around us. After nine years with us in that room, Daisy had left us one more surprise gift.

The next morning, we found two ducks swimming in our pool, a rare but not uncommon event. Since then however, one of both of them has returned every morning, waddling around, swimming a few laps, and generally resting in a patch of thick groundcover next to the pool. I went out yesterday and found a nest with 4 eggs in the groundcover, now up to 5 eggs after this morning’s visit. Could it be another Daisy surprise?

We didn't call her our lovable Crazy Daisy for nothing. Bye sweetie.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pick Wisely

My first instinct after NYC's 3rd strike was to sign up immediately for a replacement marathon, like I did in 2006 (MCM) and 2007 (Memphis + Disney). I needed an outlet, something to focus on, anything. Only one problem - my LHR training - had yet to deliver the goods and was stuck in a bad rut. I did some soul searching and decided I had 2 options:

1. Suck it up and just run another fall marathon = probable Disney crash 'n burn sequel
2. Suck it up and re-commit to LHR training = possible early 2009 marathon PR

I picked #2, got in touch with my friend B. who first introduced me to LHR training, and he agreed to train me if I agree to put in the effort - no cheating on schedules, put in the miles, stay on pace, work within the HR. He gave me a new LHR training plan, mixing up different runs at different heart rates.

So my next marathon won't be until 2009. Big deal. If there's a PR at the end of that wait, I'm all in baby!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

3rd Strike

In just three short years, I've earned (paid?) my way into NYC. 3 strikes, I'm out. They don't call it a "lottery" for nothing.

NYC 2009, here I come! Who's with me?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Where Am I

Sorry folks, I'm so far behind. I've tried to stay up on reading, but it's been long stretches in between. Same old same old on this end, working, traveling to no place particularly exciting.

I'm still stuck on my 3 mile limit each time I run. LHR pace is 10:30-ish now. I wish I could get it down below 10:00. It's been warm even in the mornings, and I think the weather is easily offsetting any meager efficiencies my heart is gaining.

I've got El Scorcho coming up July 20. It's 20K. I'm screwed.

NYC registration closes tomorrow. Then I wait to see if I get in this year. If I do, I've got to start training July 1. I'm screwed.

I think I'll go take a nap and sleep on this ...

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I'm back from a week-long annual sales conference in Nashville last week with my new employer. It wasn't the boondoggle I've experienced with other companies. A maniacal boot camp would be a much more apt description.

Starting Sunday night, it was close down the bar, get up early, work sessions all day, dinner, back to the bar. In anticipation that each passing day would make it more difficult to run and drink, I dragged myself to the hotel gym at 5:30 am on Monday, ran outside at 6:00 am on Tuesday, 6:30 am on Wednesday, and threw in the towel after that.

We were at the Gaylord Opryland all week, which was quite nice actually. Regrettably, the crazy schedule didn't allow me to meet up with Rae and Brent. I did run by the cultural highlight of their town, I think, as the Grand Ole Opry was right next to the hotel. Not that exciting though, at the crack of dawn.

All was not lost, as I stumbled across this gem on the outskirts of the hotel, which I think would be exciting at any time of day (and twice as much on Daisy Duke day):

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Heart Don't Fail Me Now

When I'm within sight of a 5K finish line and my lungs are on fire, there's always a few more drops of gas to be found to power me on home.

When I've busted through the wall on a marathon and my legs are screaming bloody murder, it's still possible for the mind to tell the body what to do. Not easy, but possible.

Yet when I'm barely breaking a sweat but my HR is too high, no amount of mental toughness can get the heart to beat any slower than it wants to. It just doesn't work that way. Invoking every cuss word I know doesn't work either. Feels like it should work, but has quite the opposite effect on the heart. Dammit.

After 7 consecutive weeks of steadily decreasing average mile pace (12:21, 12:03, 11:40, 11:28, 11:26, 11:10, 11:02), my 2 runs this week were back at 11:30 pace - why, I have no clue. It's like my heart forgot how to run. I'm going to blow this week off and start again next week.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

MS Run Walk 5K

The forecast called for thunderstorms last night, with more showers today. Neither happened. Instead, under an overcast sky, I reached the race site at 6AM this morning as organizers and volunteers were scurrying around in the darkness. We've only had 4 planning meetings leading up to this event, and I missed #2 and #4 because I was out of town. Even so, despite countless emails and calls, it wasn't clear what I was supposed to do today, until, well, about this morning. Somehow, it all came together when it needed to.

As the only volunteer on the committee assigned to work with the local race company (Racing Systems), I was supposed to make sure they did what they needed to do. Turns out that once the MS Society signed them up, Racing Systems pretty much ran on auto-pilot. They showed up a little past 6AM and started laying down the timing mats and usual stuff. The course was already laid out, and I went out with one of their guys to lay down cones. Ryan has a day job and works with Racing Systems on the weekends. He also trains runners for RunOn, and has a 3:18 marathon PR!

The course is a simple out and back. I stationed myself at the halfway point turnaround and waited for the run to start, along with Dennis the City of Addison cop, and Jeff with the City of Addison Streets Dept. I was going to comment that do you really think we needed to stand there in case anyone didn't know what to do at the turnaround, but if you look closely at the sign, it really is quite confusing.

The runners came through fairly quickly. There were only 130+ of them. The winner finished in 20:23. After that, the walkers came strolling by, and that took forever! It's all for a good cause, so the more the merrier, but I was out there from 8:00 until almost 9:45 waiting for the walkers to finish. Finally, Ryan swung by again to get me, and we picked up the cones on the way back.

Back at the finish, the usual festivities were going on, including these:

Er, don't ask me, that must have come up in the meeting I missed! All in all, I'm glad I volunteered for this. It was much less work than I expected, and I was happy to help out any way I could. I'll probably sign up next year again!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I haven't BQ'd (yet), but I'm getting closer to Boston. I started my new job this week and the company is here in Boston. While flying up on Monday morning, I received a voicemail that we had been acquired - not exactly the day 1 event I had envisioned! Turns out it's a good thing, and I'm more than happy with the company I joined and the company that intends to acquire us. I'll still be based out of Dallas, but look forward to occasionally spending time in Boston.

In running news, my LHR training has finally begun to show some results. I've tried to run consistently the past few weeks, at least 4-5 runs a week, although all are pegged at only 3 miles each while trying to stay under a 141 HR. My pace has been steadily coming down each week. Here's my average pace starting from 4 weeks ago:

Week 4: 12:21 (5 runs: 12:21, 13:01, 12:33, 12:26, 11:23)
Week 3: 12:03 (5 runs: 12:00, 11:48, 12:17, 12:15, 11:54)
Week 2: 11:40 (4 runs: 11:55, 11:24, 11:34, 11:49)
Week 1: 11:28 (2 runs: 11:44, 11:13)

There was a cold drizzle coming down last night, and I ended up running in the hotel gym. It was the first LHR run I've done on a treadmill, and I was surprised to be able to get it down to the low 11:00's. I had a work related dinner tonight, at the Cheesecake Factory no less (I was good - no dessert), but I'm going to try that treadmill again tomorrow morning!

Monday, March 03, 2008


I finally got my act together on LHR training. I strung together 5 runs last week, which equaled the number of runs in the prior 3 weeks combined. Just when I'm on a roll, this happens tonight:

In these here parts, that frosty dusting's a veritable blizzard. While the rest of Big D wakes up to lockdown mode, I think I might enjoy an early morning run for a change.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I'm Not Doing Anything After Midnight On July 20th Anyway

So I signed up for El Scorcho, organized by ultra-monster Gandaman. No ultras for me though, I'll be doing the 25K. I can think of a few things I'd rather be doing from midnight to 2:30-ish AM, but you only live once, ya know? That's me, living on the edge, a real risk-taker.

Note to self - get off your a$$ and get moving with the low heart rate training already!

In less traumatic news, I'm on T-shirt Thursday. Thanks Kara!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bling It On!

A big thank you to the Black Knight, Bex, Running Jayhawk and TxTriSkatemom for sending in their bling! Go on over to 26.2 Bling to check out their pics. We've got 10 different marathons represented so far from 1990 to 2008.

Alright people, I know there's more shiny stuff of yours waiting to get displayed. Start digging out those closets and shoeboxes! And fer sure, there's gonna be some new ones this weekend - good luck to Austinites
Runner Susan and TxTriSkatemom, and Mr A1A David. Bring it on home!

Post update: just in case you're wondering, there's no exclusive limit - send in your pic even we have already have your race represented. I think it's just as cool to get little known obscure races as it is to see how many people ran the same race you did!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Slowing Down

Things have slowed down since my last race. Down are the number of runs per week. Down too the number of official and unofficial meals a day. Most of all, down is the heart rate. Yup, I've started low heart rate training.

The only thing up so far is my pace, going up in the wrong direction! Granted I've only got 4 very short runs under my belt with this, but the first one was a shocker at 13:12/min mile average pace. My last run was better, at 11:52/min miles. I won't belabor the details, except to say this is the fastest I can go while still keeping my heart rate at 141 - presumably my aerobic threshold.

If all goes well, after a minimum of 12 weeks at this, I'll be running more efficiently, burning fat (gasp!) instead of glycogen, able to go farther and run longer. Most appealingly, the afterburners on a long run will have a reasonably full tank of glycogen to dip into, instead of my usual fumes! Sounds almost too good to be true.

Monday, January 28, 2008

26.2 Bling!

Tired of losing your drink because all wine glass charms look the same? Don't know what to do with that medal you spent 4 months pounding pavement for? Voilà!

But seriously ...

If your hard-earned medals are lost in the clutter somewhere like mine, I've got an idea. Send me a pic, and I'll post it on 26.2 Bling. You can search by marathon, by year, or by yourself, to see everyone else's medal. Display case? We don't need no stinkin' display case. We've got ourselves here one giant online display case for everyone to share!

Full instructions are here. If you like the idea, pass the word around!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Carpe Diem

I was inspired by Spirit of the Marathon to finish my 2-week break and start running again. The weather and my warm bed conspired to stretch the break one more day.

By 8:00-ish, I was out driving the kids to their weekend activities, and I saw a few brave souls pounding the pavement, misty-breathed, fighting the chill. I've been there done that so many times myself, and I'll bet so have many of you, yet why did feel a tinge of regret that I'm not out there in the elements too? All runners are masochists.

My last marathon training took me from July 07 to January 08. For the first time since last summer, I'm:

a. Not stuffing myself at every meal
b. Back in cahoots with red wine - yay!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Spirit Of The Marathon

Encore presentation on Feb 21 in case you missed it tonight. I highly recommend it. It'll make you want to get up and sign up for that next marathon immediately.
Plus, I now want to run Chicago one day. After NYC, and London, and Austin ...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Disney - The 2nd Half

After David drifted off, it was just me and the 2nd half. The next ten 1-mile segments pretty much went like this:

1. Run
2. Don't walk, don't walk, don't walk
3. Where's the #*&^!(! water stop already?
4. Do the marathon shuffle
5. Stumble into water stop

6. Drink 2 of whatever they're offering
7. Walk to end of water stop

8. Bite down and go back to #1

This method took me through the Animal Kingdom and several miles of primo Disney highway. Despite not having any cramps, and not walking except through the water stops, I steadily lost pace all the way up to mile 23.

At mile 23, in the middle of Disney Hollywood Studios, the crowd really started coming on, and I decided it was time. Just suck it up and keep running. I picked up the pace, ever so barely, from this point on.

The crowd, the pavement, the boardwalk, the traffic cones, it was all beginning to be just a blur. Finally we turned the corner into EPCOT, and I knew we were close. A mile and change to go! We started running around the main circular lagoon, which looked as big as the Pacific Ocean from what my mind registered. You could see tiny people the size of ants running clear across the other side of the lagoon, and every time I looked across, it seemed like I wasn't getting any closer. I thought the damn thing would NEVER end.

Finally we get off the lagoon and we're almost under the EPCOT silver globe thing, and the end has to be around here somewhere. I'm way beyond running on fumes by now. Note to self: next time pay attention - you saw the Finish area at 5:30 am this morning - it's not INSIDE Epcot, but OUTSIDE Epcot. So, a bazillion turns later through myriad "Cast Member Access" only pathways, we eventually get to the finish line.

After collecting my medal and blanket, I stumbled to the curb and sat down for a few minutes, ok, maybe several. I was a bit nauseous, ok, maybe a lot nauseous, and I wasn't about to risk standing up! Some officials half heartedly asked us to move on "as soon as we were ready". Eventually I did, and went through the drill - pick up more Powerade, a couple of tangerines, and got my picture taken.

I went outside to the meetup area, and David, patience of Job, found me after a few minutes. We chatted for awhile, during which I swore off marathons for a long long time. It was late in the morning and we were now baking in the middle of a large converted parking lot. We said our goodbyes, David headed to the monorail to pick up his car, and I headed out to my parking lot, where I promptly spent 20 minutes and another mile looking for my sister's silver SUV which I parked 100 yards from the finish. Go figure.