Sunday, December 14, 2008

Racing Without Expectations...

Sometimes, we have to get outside of our comfort zone. Even though we may not feel entirely prepared for something, it can be good for us to 'just do it' in the infamous words of Nike (and so profound) and force ourselves to throw expectations out the window.

I decided a few days ago to do the Jingle Bell 5k this morning. I did this 2 years ago and won it, getting this kick-ass gift basket packed with fun things like fancy sauces, olive oil and a gift certificate for Run Tex to be outfitted head-to-toe! I think I pulled off a 17:30 or something. I am not sure where it came from, as I was far from it today...but, back to my story. I knew it was 'just 3-miles' so I could get through it, and I have been running semi-consistently lately. I am about to go to Indiana for 2 weeks to spend time hanging out at my parents cabin, enjoying the cold, seeing family and doing some nice mellow runs. So, why not go out and hurt myself for 3-miles today? And for a good cause nonetheless, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) sponsors the event.

I headed out there early this morning, solo, as Derick had to go to Houston for work. I ran into a few 'running friends' I had not seen in awhile, which was fun, and saw more dogs in a race than ever before! All dressed up as reindeers and such. I felt mediocre warming up, and just figured if I did something 'slow' like 18-flat, so be it. Oh boy was I in for a surprise!

I saw a good friend Chris Kimbrough right at the start line, who is just flat out speedy. I laughed to myself, thinking "I hope she does not school me too much..." We took off and my first mile was about 5:51. Not bad, but it felt more like a 5:40...meaning, it kind of hurt. So be it! Damn the goals, Kelly! I continued on, a small ways behind the 2nd place woman (Cassie Heinkel, also a pretty speedy Austin-ite) and came through mile 2 at 11:52ish... 6-min for second mile. Wow, this is my 1/2 marathon pace! Awesome! (insert sarcasm here).... We had a slight downhill towards mile 3 and heading back towards the finish, but holy shit did it hurt! It was a particularly humid December morning which made it even tougher, but I pushed on to a painful 18:30, which if I were feeling motivated could have been an 18:25 but I just kind of strolled those last 100 yards... OUCH! What was I thinking, "18-min would be acceptable"? After this, I think I'd change that to 'impossible'!

So...bottom line is I went out there and did it. I enjoyed myself, and I think that it is so good to occassionally go out to compete knowing we may not 'all be there' today. It is like putting your pride right on the line. And walking away saying "Well, if that's the best you've got today, it's the best you've got. So be it."

Big Picture? I am fully aware that an 18:30-5k is a very respectable time. But I seemed to rip of these mid-17's a year ago...from where?! I do not know...but I am glad I went out and participated. It hurt and today, it was the best in me! It was also so great to see a few runner-friends that I had not seen in quite some time. I met Cassie, whom I have heard a lot about in Austin but had yet to meet...a very cool girl. I also saw many kids, parents and dogs all out there running 3.1! Way to go everyone, and especially to Tim, Peggy, Colleen and Kristin Pletcher...the whole family was out there running, even Comet the dog! It was great to see all of the smiling people, along with the spirit of Christmas (despite the 70-degree humid conditions) out there having fun and being active. Yet another reason, Austin is one very cool town.

Thank you for reading, and take-home lesson is, just get out there and compete...let the results fall where they may! It is healthy on occassion... for all of us!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Small Mention in Statesman "Fit City Blog"

I just wanted to mention a nice article (blog) that Pam Leblanc, who writes for the Austin American Statesman, posted this morning on her "Fit City Blog". I met with Pam last Friday at Austin Java, one my my favorite little hangouts, as Derick had mentioned that we should 'meet'. He spoke with her a few weeks back and he learned that Pam is a swimmer. I think that in Derick's eyes, anyone who swims by choice more than 3x/week and has done so all of their life has something bizarre in common and therefore are 'linked' in some way. Well, come to find out Pam and I had more in common than just swimming (mountains, skiing, inability to sit still...) and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her a bit. I felt as though we could have sat there and talked for hours.
Thanks Pam for the little write up. And imagine this, she was so 'accurate' in what she wrote! Not always the case, so it is much appreciated!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Muhnday!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Down Time...What you been up to?

I guess you could say I get 'off schedule' with blogging once the racing slows down/stops. In all honesty, since Clearwater, I feel like this is the first weekend I have 'truly' slowed down! What has been going on since November 8?

The weekend before Thanksgiving, Derick, myself, Adam Mills and Joseph LaFico (representing Source Endurance) all headed to Shreveport, Louisiana for a 'triathlon clinic weekend' with the Sunrise Triathlon Club. We took off on Friday, arrived back on Sunday night. It was a good weekend, as we did a 3-hr bike skills clinic on Saturday morning with about 20 of them (in 34-degree weather...they were troopers, and we had to act like it wasn't cold!) followed by a brief transition clinic later that afternoon. The evening consisted of mexican food and a presentation by Derick on 'Specificity of Training'. He is so good at this seemed people were just hanging onto his every word. We got out of there at about 10:00, so it made for a long day, but we got to put in a 2.5-hr ride on Sunday morning before heading back, and had a great turnout, probably close to 30 people. I think that people had a good time, learned a bit and came away a bit more excited about their '09 seasons.

The next 'big event' was our Thanksgiving trip to the south to see Derick's family. We took off Wednesday (2 days after Shreveport) and flew into Greenville, SC. If you have not been there, it is a very cool town to check out...almost reminds me of Portland, Maine. But we didn't stop there! We got into the car and drove right to Roanoke, Virginia to see his grandparents, aunts and uncles. So Wednesday was ALL travel! But we stuck there for a few days, to come back on Friday and spend a long weekend with Derick's twin sister Kristin, her husband and Derick's parents. Our plans to come back on Monday night were thrown off, as there were plane we got back on Tuesday 10:00 AM, which was alright but Derick had 2 exams that week and I took the GRE on Thursday!

On to the GRE. That is the stupidest, most ridiculous exam ever invented. I do not recommend this test to anyone. If at all you can get into graduate school without it, do it. I studied for hours on end just to familiarize myself with what to expect...that is about all the good it did. I knew the 'kinds' of questions to expect but it still throws you for a big loop, no matter how prepared you are. Unless you are like our friend Scott Dwyer, who breezed through it with 2 days notice. I hate people like Scott. (Sorry, Scott)... :) In any case, I did good enough and my scores are now with Texas State San Marcos, and I am looking into other various Health Psychology programs across the country. All in 'desirable cities', of course (some being Burlington, VT - Ft. Collins, CO - Missoula, MT - Boone, NC - Durham, NC - ...we miss the mountains!)

Other than that, life is life as usual. This morning was the Decker Half Marathon. I debated up until yesterday doing it, just 'for fun' (but can I really DO that?!) but after a 2-hour very hilly and very tiring bike ride, decided I was not really in the shape to do it and would just hit up a long hilly run this morning. I have not had the itch to race much lately, but I think that it is good to listen to your instinct sometimes...13.1 hilly hard miles did not sound fun to me, but the Jingle Bell 5k next Sunday kind of does...maybe I'll do that one instead?

I hope ya'll are having a nice holiday season and enjoying it, December comes and goes in a blink each year and it really is a nice time to try to take a deep breath and think back on all you are thankful for from the previous slow down and relax! (and I'll finally try to do the same)