Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dallas 13.1 Marathon

The inaugural race of the Dallas 13.1 Marathon series was this morning. I've been pretty excited for this race. I've been feeling great lately and just wanted to enjoy the day.

As excited as I was I still did pretty much everything wrong yesterday. I completely forgot I had a race the next day during lunch out with the office. I ate a huge thing of red beans and rice. Not really race friendly. And I didn't eat dinner until super late that night. AND maybe the worst of all...I didn't plan may race outfit until about 10:00pm. I blame it on the fact that it was a Saturday race. It completely threw me off.

Anyway, I was up at 4:50am. Out the door to meet Serene at 5:30am. And we were off by 5:50am. We arrived at the race around 6:20am. Plenty of time for a 7:30am start, right? Well, no. We tried to park in the free parking designated on the website but it was full. We opted for a public lot that was $5. We parked and walked over to the place where you used to stick your $5 in the little slot. Remember when you used to have to do that? Well, now they have a little ATM looking machine where you pay. And the line. OH THE LINE. It was longer than any porta potty line you could imagine. But no big deal. We had over an hour before the start. Except it took 50 minutes to get through that line. And all the lots around had the same line so moving the car wasn't an option. We finally paid and ran to the start. Luckily it was super close. BUT. We had to make a porta potty stop. Had to. So we got in another line. And in that line we heard the gun go off and watched the race start without us. But we had no choice. There was no way we could start a race without a porta potty stop.

So we started 5 minutes later than everyone else. They were actually closing the gate to the start when we approached. That has to be the first time I've started a race with no crowd around me. It was strange.

For the first 2 miles Serene and I just ran. Fast. We knew how stupid it was but we couldn't stand the idea of being so far behind. Our first couple of miles were in the 8:30ish pace. Stupid. But we just kept going. We didn't keep up that 8:30 pace but we stayed pretty fast. And we ran the entire race together. Had the most hilarious conversations. It was a great time. The last couple were hard. We paid for the quick start but we made it. And when we were in the final shoot I looked at my watch and realized that I had about 60 seconds left to still PR. So we sprinted. FAST. It must have been pretty funny to watch us coming in that fast. It was crazy. But we both PR'd so it was a pretty great day.

I can't wait to see the official race picture. In the mean time here are the only 2 pics I have of the day...

Offical time: 2:08:13

23 seconds faster than RnR Dallas last March

Holy Hills Batman

It's been 2 weeks since I actually ran The Tyler Rose Half Marathon. I figured it's time to finally do my race recap since I ran another race today. Did I mention that I was crazy busy?

Tyler Rose 2010 is still to this day the hardest course I have ever run. I can't say that I was super nervous about this year's race. Unlike last year I knew what to expect and I knew how to pace myself for those horrible horrible hills. And I did. I was extremely comfortable the entire race. The hills were hard but not miserable. I was kind of in that zen place where you think about everything in your life besides the running. It was nice.

The course changed a bit from last year. We started and finished in the Tyler Rose Garden which was beautiful. I thought for a second that this course might have some worse hills than last year but I don't think so. I just think they were longer. Again this year the race was extremely well organized. Loved every minute of it. I read another friends blog who ran the full and had the exact opposite feeling about how things were put together. It's always interesting to me how different our perspectives can be on the same event. But again, I loved it.

Course Elevation 2011

Course Elevation 2010

Bit of a difference in elevation :)

Annnnd some pics from the day...

Official Time: 2:14:50.

A few seconds faster than last year I think.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Too Much

I am so unbelievably behind with posting. I would say things have been crazy busy around here but aren't things crazy busy for everyone? Probably. But still...IT'S BEEN CRAZY BUSY.

I've often thought about doing a whole day in the life post but thought that would make it sound like I'm complaining. Which I'm totally not. My crazy busy life has been brought on by myself. I could give something up but my first thoughts are of giving up my job. Or I should say jobs. But that really won't work because, you know, I like to eat. And have a place to live. And lord knows I'm not giving up my kids stuff. Or my running stuff. Or Team In Training stuff. And my husband's not gonna give up any of his stuff. Mostly cause his stuff is work stuff too.

So here we are. Crazy busy.

I'm gonna try to play a little catch up so you know what's going on in my running world (cause I know you care) and my Team In Training world.

Two weeks ago the family (minus Jeff because he was in class becoming the worlds best teacher) ran a 5K to benefit Heroes For Children. I love this organization. If you ever have to chance to help them out, donate, or participate in one of their events - DO IT. Cancer sucks but cancer in children is just about the worst thing ever.

Grant ran next to his friend (Serene's son) Dalton and I pushed Maggie in the jogging stroller ( stroller). Right before the finish I parked the stroller next to a very nice cop who watched it for me and Maggie and I raced to the finish. It might have been the cutest thing ever. CUTEST. EVER.

This weekend is The Tyler Rose Half Marathon. Do you remember when I ran this one last year. I believe I said it was the hardest race I've ever run. Well I've run many races since that one and it's still the hardest I've ever run. I should be a bit nervous going into it. At least last year I had NO idea the hell that was about to be upon me. This year I am fully aware. And coming off that dreadful performance I had at Plano Balloon Half. But I'm not. I'm kind of looking forward to it. I don't plan on trying to break any records. I just plan on trying to have fun. Really.

No, I mean it.

Now a bit of TNT news...starting November 19th I will officially be coaching the Spring Marathon team. Woot Woot. I accepted with a few mixed feelings. First, that means I will be leaving the winter team early. This team is SUCH a great team. All teams are great but sometimes you just have a group that is amazing...and this is one of those groups. Second, I probably need a break. And so does my family. Instead of being done in January, I won't be done until the end of April. That's a lot of Saturdays.

But it's Team In Training. And I love Team In Training. So that wins over all else.

Come join us in Madrid or Dallas and raise money for a GREAT cause.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Great Race / Bad Run

Not exactly sure how to start this race recap. I have such mixed feelings about it.

This was the first year for The Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon. And it was SO well-organized. A great race. The volunteers were amazing. The course was tough but very pretty. With the race entry you received a New Balance tech shirt, free VIP parking, two free tickets to the festival, food from Central Market, and were supposed to see the balloons launch right before the start. Unfortunately, the weather prevented this from happening. Pretty great swag for a first time race right? Pretty great swag for any race really.

The mixed feelings came from my misery. I've been feeling sick all week and woke up Friday with severe back pain. Went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a pretty bad kidney infection. I probably shouldn't have run. But, of course, I did.

I was OK for a while. The first few miles weren't too awful bad. But then my back started hurting. And I couldn't seem to get past it. Serene and Dianna caught up with me around mile 8. And I lost them around mile 10. I just couldn't seem to make myself go. At about mile 10.5 I was defeated. It's a horrible feeling. Knowing the exact second you gave up. But I felt it. I knew I had given up and there was no coming back from it. I was miserable.

But I finished. Barely. And with a new personal worst.

I have Tyler Rose Half in 3 weeks. It's the toughest course I've ever run. Way harder than today. I've got to put this one behind me quick or Tyler will eat me up and spit me out. 

At least I look happy in the pics from the day...

Before the race with Serene and my Dad.

Again pre-race...with Serene and Dianna.

We were in serious porta potty heaven. They were everywhere. And mostly clean. With toilet paper. And no lines. I swear I heard angels singing every time I walked up to one.

After the race. That's a fake smile.

With my kids. Again, fake smile.

Dad won 2nd in his age group. Pretty awesome.

Friday, September 16, 2011

So it goes.

I've been having one of those weeks. Actually one of those 2 weeks. You know the kind. The kind where it's just one thing after another. And another. And another. So it goes.

Kurt Vonnegut don't sue me for stealing your stuff but that's how it felt. This happened. So it goes. That happened. So it goes. But WAIT this happened too. So it goes.

Anyway...I've got a half this weekend. The Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon. I can't say that I'm totally excited about it since I haven't really run since last weekend. I feel like I'm getting sick. And whatever else complaint I can come up with. BUT the weather is cooler and I'm excited about that. You also get a pretty cool NB tech shirt. That's almost worth it right there. And the medal is really cool.

OK, so that makes it totally worth it. I'll let you know how it goes...

Saturday, August 27, 2011


In complete Tony Collins fashion, I crashed and burned during my morning run today. (Yea, that's right Dad. I called you clumsy.) I tripped on a rise in the sidewalk and pretty much fell flat on my face. Well, not my face but...

my knee...

and my shoulder...

and my hand...

annnnnd my iPod.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

So Fitting...

Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up.

Amby Burfoot

If you get emails from Runner's World then I'm sure you already read this today. But with the new season of Team In Training about to start, I just thought it was so fitting. We run to raise money to end cancer. But we also run for those who can't. For those who never ever give up the fight to live.

So very fitting.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Winter Season is almost here!

It's that time again...time to for the winter season of Team In Training. I'm crazy excited about this season. Crazy excited. Why? Well, because I'm always excited about a new season but also because I will be assisting in coaching this year! Whaaaaa what?? Yes, I know. Crazy right. But you guys know how much I love this sport and how much I love this here I am. Don't worry...David and Meg will be coaching again as well. Not sure how much they will actually need me but I don't care. I'm just excited to help wherever I can!

Now on to the season...

Our Winter Events:

SOOOO which one are you gonna sign up to run? Seriously.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Stranger Friend

I drive by this man everyday on my way to work. Running. He's always running. And he's always in the same black socks. Black shoes. Short, short running shorts. I do not know him, Old Man Runner. We've never met and never will. He doesn't even know I exist. But I know him. I have come to think of him as my friend. I smile when I drive by, say "good morning" from inside my car. I look forward to seeing him everyday. When he's not there, I worry. Is he sick? Is he injured? What's wrong? And then I see him again the next day and all is right in the world again.

I'm not exactly sure why I've become so attached to him. He looks to be in his late seventies. And has to have been a runner all his life. Strong legs like his don't happen later in life. Or easily for that matter. They are built from many, many years of hard work and dedication. Maybe that's it? Maybe it's because he's dedicated so much of his life to something and stuck with it. It's not a fad for him. It's not just a reason to stay healthy. When you run as much as Old Man Runner runs, it has to be because you genuinely love it. There's no other explanation.

And yes, of course I realize there actually could be a million explanations. I have no real idea of what I am talking about. I could have everything completely wrong. And I will never really know. He obviously lives by my office - a full hour from my home - so "running" into him is never going to happen. But I'm OK with that. I like the back story I've made up for my Old Man Runner. It's probably way better than the truth anyway.

(And I also realize that as soon as I took a picture while driving slowly behind him moved me right over from fascination to stalker)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Change of Plans

So I'm already going back on my word. We may or may not be in town the weekend of Sizzling Summer Half Marathon. So that one may or may not be out. And winter Kick Off for Team In Training is the same day as The Hottest Half. So that one is for sure out.

I can't say that I'm super upset about the Sizzling Summer but I am bummed about The Hottest Half. Oh well.  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wounded Warrior - Race Recap

It's been a week since Wounded Warrior Half Marathon and I am just now getting around to a recap. It's been a crazy week. I feel like I've been constantly one step behind. Probably because I have been.

Anyway, here goes...

It was hot. Really really hot. Not quite as hot as Too Hot to Handle last year. But hot. And since I didn't really go into this with any expectations there was no real way I could be disappointed. And I wasn't. I walked a little more than I would have liked. But that's not really even true. I don't think I really care that I walked. I was just trying to get through the heat without being too horribly miserable. And I did. My knee started hurting around mile 8. That was pretty miserable but I survived. It's still hurting a bit now so I guess I'm gonna have to see someone about the pain. Maybe. :)

It was a great race and a great organization. Not super big but SO well put together. I will most definitely run this one again next year.

Race outfit laid out the night before

Pre-race - Serene, me, Dianna, and Robin

Pre-race - Meg, Serene, me, Dianna, Robin, and Tammy

Post-race - very very sweaty and hot

Yea, that's us - armed and dangerous.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


ABT - Always Be Training

That's my new motto. Always Be Training. It's the only way for me. And I know I said I would not sign up for anymore races? But I just can't help it. I don't do well if I don't have anything on the calendar. I need a goal. I need a reason to get out in 90 degree weather and run. Because if I don't have a reason I will not do it. So that is why I will Always Be Training from now on.

Now what have I been training for? Or kind of training for? The Wounded Warrior Half Marathon this Sunday June 12th. It benefits the Semper Fi Fund which is a really great cause. And it has a pretty awesome medal. And we all know it's all about the medals.

So factoring in the heat I guess I'm just gonna try to have fun. And finish upright. And not die. Pretty lofty goals I think.

But now on to the most ridiculous part...
I am going to run a half in July, August, September, October, November, and December.
Sizzling Summer Half - July 23
The Hottest Half - August 14
Plano Balloon Festival Half - September 18
Tyler Rose Half - October 9
Rock N Roll San Antonio Half - November 13
Dallas White Rock Marathon - December 4  (This one is still up in the air. I haven't made any final full marathon plans yet. But I'll keep you posted!)

(This is the time I'm thankful my husband doesn't actually read this blog cause I'm pretty sure he'd have a coronary if he saw all those events. Let's just keep this between you and me internet. So ssssssssh. What he doesn't know want hurt him, right?)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

Last Sunday was the Heels & Hills Half Marathon in Irving, TX. Heels & Hills is the local event for the Summer season of Team In Training. I ran this last year but decided to volunteer/cheer this time around instead.

Dianna, Robin, and I arrived around 7:00 to give a few words of encouragement before the gun went off. The weather was a bit chilly with a light drizzle. Nothing horrible...yet. After we saw everyone off, we walked a little over a mile to the TNT water station. That's when things got a bit crazy. It was pouring down rain. POURING. And the wind. Oh the WIND. It was miserable. Then it cleared up. Then it got bad again. This is basically how it went for the next 4 hours. We covered ourselves in trash bags to stay dry and warm (never underestimate the power of the trash bag). The race was put on hold 2 different times for fear of an even worse storm coming through. The course was even forced to be shortened by .6 miles for some people to keep them safe. It was crazy.

BUT everyone there had a great race day. Despite the miserable conditions I didn't see one unhappy face crossing the finish line. It really was a fun day. We laughed so hard at so many things. I can't encourage you enough to volunteer for a race every once in a while. It's nice to see the other side of things.

(Anyone get my Dylan reference? Anyone? Anyone?)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This is completely normal…



It’s completely normal to have this many shoes in rotation, right?

My feet have been hurting lately and I’m trying to find a solution. Or cause.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Marathon Thoughts

Pete over at Runblogger just posted this on Dailymile. Stop whatever you are doing and watch it right now. Hilarious.

THANK YOU ROB THOMAS! – my new battle cry.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hey – Brett Michaels is waiting for you

Best sign of the day. I saw this girl 3 times on the course and each time it made me smile. Because I’m pretty sure Brett Michaels was waiting for me.


Awww but I digress…

Let’s get to the actual race – Dallas Rock N Roll Half Marathon.
My dad came down for this one again. We did it together last year too. Together meaning we hung out. Not meaning we ran together. I couldn’t keep up with him on his worst day. We went to the EXPO on Saturday. The layout was much better this year. Things were spread out and easy to maneuver. I love RnR EXPOs and this one was no exception. I do wish they gave you gender specific tech shirts (although I believe this will be happening sometime in 2011) and a finisher shirt. It’s the finisher shirts that really mean something. But again I digress…

The Race - We stayed in downtown Dallas Saturday night so getting to the start was super easy. We were only a block away. I was in corral 7 (right in the middle) and crossed the starting line at about 8:10. Pretty quick for an event this size. The course was the same as last year. It goes thru some of the most beautiful parts of Dallas and I absolutely love it. In fact, it may be one of my favorite courses so far. The water stations were fabulous. But my experience is that water stations at all RnR events are well managed. There never seems to be a shortage of anything and they go on forever. The finish line was super easy as well. I know they had some complaints last year when the shoot started as you entered Fair Park. At that point you still have almost 2 miles to go before the actual finish. That’s a pretty long KICK. But this time we just had traffic cones directing our way and the shoot started at a normal distance. My only complaint is that they wasn’t a ton of room for spectators at the finish. I know it is hard to keep the area clear for runners and medics and still have room for the spectators. But I hope they find a middle ground next year. The Finishers village was well laid out. The family meeting area and bag check was a breeze. If only all races were this well done.

My race - I had mixed feelings about this race. My last 3 were not that great and I wanted to do well with this one. But because of those not so good previous races I also didn’t want to set myself up for failure. I had a super secret goal in mind and prayed all went well.

Miles 1 – 8 are uphill. It was a slow and steady incline. I ran those with Dianna. We didn’t say more than 2 words to each other but it was nice to have someone by my side. I saw Jeff and Mom at mile 8. Dianna handed her heart monitor over to Jeff and we lost each other at that point. Miles 9 – 13.1 are downhill. Again, a slow and steady decline. I stayed extremely consistent those first 8 miles because I knew I could pick it up the last 5. If I played my cards right then I might actually have a negative spilt. And I did. I’m still in shock just how good I felt the entire race. I was just breezing through the miles like they were nothing. My goal was 2:10 (which would have been a PR). My official time 2:08:36. And I am pretty flippin proud of myself.

Althooough, I had a lot left in me when I finished. I’m pretty sure I could have done a 2:05 if I would have pushed just a little bit harder. Oh but am I ever satisfied?


I think I was dancing a jig.


Dad ran a 1:41:46. Pretty amazing.




My biggest fan.


And of course Brett.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Race Week

It's race week. My last race of the season - Dallas Rock N Roll Half.

And I will not sign up for another race. I will not sign up for another race. I will NOT sign up for another race.

Better make this one count.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Not a great day but…

Cowtown Half Marathon 2011


I think going into this one I secretly wanted some vindication for last weekends performance in Austin. Oh but it wasn’t to be. In fact, now I need vindication for this on as well. (If you were sitting in my office right then, you would have heard an audible sigh.)

I don’t really have a reason for it. No excuses. It was just a bad day. My heart wasn’t in it. So I will just talk about the race itself. I love Ft. Worth. It’s a big city with such a small town feel. Parking was a breeze. And tons available that was free and not 5 miles away. The start was easy. The corrals moved smoothly. The course wasn’t that pretty but we did run through the stockyards so that was fun. It just seemed to be extremely well organized. After you crossed the finish line you got your medal then were directed into another building. There was a little bit of a line but nothing bad. At that point, you were given a plastic bag and sent down an assembly line where volunteers stuffed food items. Yogurt, bananas, crackers, packages of donuts, oranges, water, Poweraide, and more. It was genius. How many times have you wanted the food but didn’t have the strength or free hands to lug it around. Seriously, loved that we got a bag to carry it all in. Then the finisher shirts were in another building. Again, small line but nothing horrible. Such an easy morning. I mean, except for the running part.

BUT I did fill the empty hook on my new super cool medal display that I bought at the Austin Expo last weekend. It was a birthday present to myself and I have to say it was the perfect gift. The hook was only empty for a week but it was seriously taunting me. I couldn’t have made it a day longer.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Runcuf–Best Invention Ever

OK, you guys know how I feel about wearing the minimum amount of things on my person while running. If it’s above 30 degrees I’m in shorts and a singlet. It has to be freezing for me to wear a jacket or even sleeves. I can’t stand hydration or race belts. Seriously can’t stand them. I tolerate a hand held for water but I usually complain the entire time I’m carrying it.

So when Serene and I came across Runcuf at the Austin Marathon Expo I was a little hesitant. Basically it’s a cuff that goes on your arm. It has 4 pockets (I think). One of them big enough for your phone. It fits snugly on your arm and is completely waterproof. Very comfortable. The only reason I even looked at it was because I knew the race was going to be hard. Serene had a hamstring injury and I just got over pneumonia. Neither of us had been training properly (or at all) and thought it would be nice to take our phones with us. Just in case.

So we both bought one at the expo and wore it the next day. And yes, I know. I know. Nothing new on race day. Whatever. This race was going to be miserable ever way.

And you know what? I loved it. Totally loved it. It never once bothered me. I loved having my phone with me. Not that I used it during the race but I did before and after. There was no reason to bag check. I could have had my key in there and maybe even a gel. But that might have been pushing it. Either way…I totally recommend it!!!

Unfortunately the only place in Texas to find them is RunTex. So for all you Dallas people, start calling Luke’s and RunOn and ask for them to start selling RUNCUF!!



Don’t they kind of look tough?! I totally felt like Wonder Woman.

Run Austin

LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon 2011

This was Austin Marathon’s 20th anniversary. And the first year that LIVESTRONG was it’s sponsor. They did a great job overall, although the race has always seemed to be well put together. This was my first year to participate. I have been many times before when my dad was running the full but my first time to run the half.


First and foremost, I love Austin. It’s a fun city full of interesting people and great history. The course was beautiful with only a few miles of boring scenery. We started and finished in front of The Capitol.


The course was hilly. VERY HILLY. I guess you would expect that of Austin but in the past the course has always been somewhat flat. Fast even. But not anymore. I would compare it to Tyler’s course. Not quiet as hard but almost. There was actually one hill around mile 11 that was almost comical. I mean, not while you were trying to get up it, but after. It was so steep it was almost impossible to run. In fact, of all the 50 or so people around us, not 1 was running. You just couldn’t. And it was painful to walk. So painful that several people were going up backwards just to save their hamstrings. I thought about doing the same thing but figured I would fall and break something if I tried to turn around.

Overall it was a great weekend. The race experience was great. The course was hell. There were a few hiccups but not many. Like the water stations were a little chaotic and the finisher shirt pickup was just plain craziness but those are both things that can be easily corrected next year. I would definitely do this one again. Now that I know what I’m getting into anyway.




A huge acknowledgement needs to go to Serene for finishing this race strong, not only upright but in great time considering the hamstring injury she has. Seriously, it’s a big deal so tell her congrats.

Favorite signs of the race:




and my favorite…


Favorite because that’s one of the biggest reasons why I do this. To show my children that I can do great things. Maybe the biggest reason. To show that I am not just a mom or a wife. That I am not just the fixer of snacks and the washer of clothes. That I am a strong woman and I can do anything I set out to do. And so can they.