Friday, February 29, 2008

Bloody Fish

I was swimming today at Stacy Pool, plugging along doing my 4x400's, feeling decent for today. As I am finishing up and getting ready to wind it down, a man next to me says (in an Australian accent), "You swim like a bloody fish." It was so funny. I just kind of laughed, and we got to chatting a bit. He told me that he used to be a runner but had a herniated disc in his back so he has had to start swimming. I said, "It's not quite like running..." His reply, "Yea, I miss chasing all the young ladies."

I am getting back into a bit of a swimming/cycling/running/yoga routine this past week. The week after the marathon, I recovered fairly well (and had the awesome treat of spending the weekend with my friend Jenny Georges from CO too, though we got a bit too crazy Friday night at G&S Lounge....another story) but even this week I have still felt some remaining fatigue. Crazy the toll that distance can take on your body. But I am definitely feeling more normal and wanting to start upping the pace on some workouts now. I have been trying to ease back into the pool, this week I did 2000 Monday, 3000 Wednesday and 3000 today, with some longer 'main sets'. I am feeling like the gills are coming back, albeit slowly, which I expected. I was contemplating going to Virginia Beach, VA on March 15th to race a 1/2 Marathon. However, I then found out about the Daisy 5k here in Austin on that same Saturday. Boy-Girl chase format! How fun. The women get a 3-minute head start and the guys have to catch us. SIGN ME UP! I have actually never done one of these, so I am training hard for it now. Not really...but it will be interesting to see if I can find some speed in these legs in the next 2 weeks.

What else has happened of interest...AH! Our cat. Our kitty Shackleton took a big hit and anyone remotely close to me has heard of this already...he was hit by a car (truck) in front of our house and even more 'interesting', I saw it happen. It was awful. He hid under the shed overnight and Derick went and was able to pull him out the next morning, though his little face was bloody and his teeth were loose. He spent 2 days at the South First Vet Hospital where they so kindly nursed him to health, and now we are nursing him to health. He is doing great, though his mouth was a bit crooked at first and now occassionally his tongue sticks out without his knowing. He may have to have a tooth pulled (find out next week) but other than that, I think he'll pull through. So he has 8 lives to go.

Derick also decided to take a spill at a bike race last weekend, and has the road rash to show for it. He is alright however it is so scary what you put yourself into when bike racing, it is a huge risk and I know all bike racers know it but it sure is scary when your loved ones do it. His hip took a huge hit, I'd post a picture but you may not want to see it, and it is slowly healing up, though he too walked crooked most of the week. And please do not say 'these things come in 3's', I have already heard it.

That is about all my news for now! I hope you all are well, happy Leap Day and happy soon-to-be March! We have already had one 90-degree day here in Austin, so I'll savor temps under 45 from here out because they will be FEW and far between...

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Austin Marathon

Well it has come and it has gone...I completed my first marathon yesterday, Sunday 2/17. Please check out my full report on my website. It was a good day, all in all. I didn't achieve my goal of a 2:47, however I was on pace for a bit over 1/2 of the race and I felt so comfortable running 6:20's. It was a nice change from a half-marathon to be comfortable running, rather than to feel I was hammering. I just need to continue to build to be able to run that pace for longer. What a race, though! There were thousands of people out there cheering, I wanted to thank them all but well I had to conserve my energy to run. It was fun to see many faces I recognized out there, both racing and cheering. This even truely takes over the city. The energy is just indescribable. If you live in Austin, I really recommend taking part in this, and if you don't, it is a great excuse to visit. Just be prepared for a challenging course...I won't say it was flat out 'hard', because the hills can be a reprieve from the flat terrain (change of muscles used, change of routine, etc) however it is not flat and fast. From what I learned, if you do the full definitely be conservative, I feel I could have done this a bit better. But no excuses made, it as a great day and even though I fell down after finishing as my legs were jello-like,

I loved every painful minute of it. This picture was taken by Mario Cantu here in Austin, it was so nice of him to send this to me soon after I had gotten home on Sunday. It was so great because not only could I jog to the starting line, leaving my house at about 6:15 am, but I also made the long 30-min walk (hobble?) home afterwards! The day was phenomenal, about 42 at the start and maybe in the 50's at the finish. Could not have asked for better running weather. To everyone who supported me along the way, thank you for everything...I though about ya'll during this experience! Finishing in downtown Austin was so amazing, and even though I had to settle for a 2:54, I was very proud I was able to push my body to do this. Now time to get some R&R and decide what is next.... :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


This came to me from a friend in a good luck note for this weekend. Just read and digest the words, I think this is one of the best 'pieces' I have read in a long time. I don't know if there is anyone who could read this and not feel they could relate to it. I don't need to say much more, this says it all. Thanks for reading...Kelly

Motivation doesn't mean you have to be up all the time— even the most successful, best-motivated people have cloudy days, and you have to understand that. As for maintaining a sense of motivation and purpose for the long haul, you need a belief system, a past, a heritage, a tradition — the stuff you get from family. These are the things that make you who you are, that define your self-image. As you grow, these things are challenged. You have doubts, or people say you can't do something because of their own fears or jealousies or feelings of inadequacy. But if you have an idea of who you are and what you want to become, you can handle those doubts. Meanwhile, your self-image may adjust as new information comes to you from people, experiences or reading -- but hopefully, your self-image is also reinforced. It's a constant learning process of reanalysis and renewed focus; if you don't like your circumstances, you have to take control and change them.

Friday, February 8, 2008

O To Live the Life of a Cat

I like to watch my cat. What a sweet life he has, he sleeps, wakes up, eats, plays outside, poops, eats again and then goes back to sleep. Sometimes he skips the playing and just goes right back to the sleeping. He sits here without a worry in the world (what would he have to worry about?)...if he wants to play he plays, but if he does not want to be bothered, he finds a cozy spot on the bed and goes into his sleep mode. I sometimes try to imitate him, you know, take a 'cat nap' as they call them. Doesn't work for me. I need a minimum of 30 minutes to actually 'fall asleep', and even then if it is during the day I have to be pretty tired. I have been feeling 'under the weather' literally (weather changes in Austing bring on allergy symptoms, just make me feel like I have a cold) and still, I tried to take a cat nap to no avail. Guess I'll leave that up to him.

I updated my website a bit, saying, this week has brought about some changes for me. Well, I guess technically I have brought about the changes, but nonetheless...I am transitioning in my life a bit right now. Which is good, comfort is nice but change is what makes us grow. It is an odd time to be doing so, with a pretty big competition just right around the corner (the Austin Marathon) but I was feeling antsy enough that I think the time had come. I think that it will be good for me. My worst enemy is boredom, and having lost a job back in January, I have had too much time on my hands lately. In January I kept busy with a lot more running (higher volume) and Bikram Yoga classes (which expired, sadly enough, I feel great when I am doing them). However now it is time to 'taper' (and I am so bad at that...) and well, transition. So, I have found I have had much too much time on my hands. That being said, I guess I cannot lead the life of my cat as I so think I desire to do...I am much better at living the life of a busy, active person. Speaking of being active, the marathon is just around the corner. I cannot say I am feeling great, because...I am not. However, I have a theory on this...I think that sometimes during a taper, our bodies feel sluggish and tired because they are telling us "Do not work me too hard right now!". I did a track workout this AM (800-600-400 3x) and I actually had to laugh at the times I did the first round. They were so off! But, that is body is telling me not to over-do it. And to be honest, like anything else in life, you do the workout (activity), put in your best and you move on. While I am looking ahead to next weekend in the small bits and pieces of planning and preparing, I am also getting exctied to go and challenge myself and my body in a way I have not done before. It will be fun, exciting, and I imagine, painful. But I think that I thrive on this or I would not keep coming back for more!

Ya'll have a nice weekend. Stop and smell the roses, a cat. And try to imitate him. Just for awhile. You may learn something...and if you don't, I am sure you'll slow down a bit. Which isn't a bad thing.