3M Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, January 30
Austin, TX
State #21/50
Half Marathon #22
Weather - 64 degrees and HUMID

I used to live in Austin, TX. In fact, over a decade ago I met my future (now ex) husband there. Even though I thought I would never go back to Texas, I obviously had to pick a race there to finish my goal. I still have family there, so I picked the 3M half marathon. The race gets rave reviews for its cool swag, and it wouldn't cost as much money for me since I'd have a place to stay and wouldn't need to rent a car. My ex husband still lives in the area, so that meant that A also got to go along.

Our flight was delayed, but only about 30 minutes. The flight out was pretty quick, and our ride was waiting for us. It was about a 40 minute drive from the airport to my Lisa's (ex sister-in-law) house north of the city. We stopped at Subway on the way home to pick up some dinner.

After dinner and some time with the nieces and nephew (and ex-husband), I found out that Lisa had arranged for a babysitter so the adults could go to a movie. SCORE! We got back to the house late and A had fallen asleep on the couch.

Saturday the only thing on my agenda was to pick up me and L's packet for the race. We slept late after having been up so late the night before. A let me stay in bed until 9:00! I got ready for the day, and then we lounged around the house. We opted on a little Greek restaurant for lunch. I love love LOVE Greek salads. I think it is the feta cheese!

Delicious lasagna!
We made a quick stop at the half price bookstore, and then drove to north Austin to the 3M building to pick up our race packets.

There was no expo of any kind. Literally you walked in the door, gave your name, got your stuff, and walked out again. Relieved I wasn't given any hassle for picking up L's stuff. The swag WAS neat. Got a free pair of sunglasses, ankle brace, scotch tape, scrubbing sponges, (compare to) Sham Wow rags, nice Tech shirt, random other items. We got back to the house and spent more time doing nothing. Except the kids decided that raking was TONS of fun.

L's flight was due to land at 6:00, so we had another trip to make to the airport. Less than ten minutes after leaving the house, I get a text that she had already landed. 20 minutes early. Ooops. After picking L up we headed BACK up Lisa's where her husband was grilling chicken for fajitas! Carb loading for this race through tortillas instead of pasta. Yum.

Since the race was scheduled to start at 6:45, I headed up to bed just before 11:00. A was NOT tired.

Man, I haven't had a night like that in ages. I was uncomfortable and I was starting to feel like I was getting A's cold (that I had managed to bypass all week). The first time I dozed off wasn't until almost 1:00. But I didn't stay asleep. The slightest noise and I was up again. I figure that I got about an hour of sleep all night. I was up before my alarm went off at 5:05.

Chris, my ex brother-in-law, offered to drive us to the race start. He's a police officer with the city and thought with all the road closures it would be easier for us to not drive. Fine with us!

We were out the door only 5 minutes later than we planned, at 5:50. The drive down to the race start went fast, no one is out at that time of day on a Sunday! The exit we needed to take was backed up so Chris navigated some back roads and dropped us off only a block or so from the race start. The lines for the bathrooms were INSANE. As much as we have raced, we have come to the conclusion that it is completely worth it to miss the start of the race if we have to. NOT worth it to be uncomfortable. Right when we got out, the gun went off. No big deal, the start was narrow and people were still feeding through as we started.

Start Line
All I really knew about this course was it was a point to point and there was negative elevation. It was HUMID at the start of the race, and I was glad that the race started before the sun came up. The first mile was spent navigating around the slower runners and finding my pace (like always). Only this race was a bit different.

I found a decent groove but immediately I felt VERY tired and VERY hot. I had been fighting off getting sick, but I had been feeling pretty congested and tired over the last few days and I'm pretty sure it caught up with me. And the humidity was insane. I was sweating like crazy before we were even a few miles into the race.

I had somehow missed the first mile marker (which I don't think has ever happened), and I wasn't feeling YET like I was going to fast, but I was concerned about how crappy I already felt. the first aid station wasn't until we were over 2 miles in, and I walked a bit more than I normally do. I was just NOT feeling it.

I hit the 3 mile marker and I could tell I was going too fast for how I felt and the weather conditions. I was already exhausted and trying hard to not walk. I really really wanted to. Shortly after mile 3, I saw L. She passed me at the water station at mile 3.5. I didn't see her again the rest of the course.

Mile 5 hit and I am feeling worse than ever. Still tired. Still drained. Mile 5 is running through a residential neighborhood. Aid station at mile 5.5 and I walk. Drink a water. Drink a gatorade. Take a GU... start going again. Get passed by the 2:00 pace group somewhere just before mile 6. I don't even care. I'm just trying to not walk. Walking will only make the race last longer. It is "raining" a bit. And by raining I mean it's more "misting" but it feels GOOD. I finally feel like I am cooling off a bit. A slight breeze and the weather is almost bearable for a bit.

I keep going. And going. And going. Pass the relay hand off and I'm wondering... WHERE IS THE NEXT AID STATION??? It was not until almost mile 8. Not sure exactly where it was because I managed to miss that mile marker too. Are you kidding me??? So tired. So thirsty. So blah.

Keep going. Don't know how I am doing it. A lot of the course is running down Burnet road. Not too much to look at. I feel so terrible I don't even care that I'm not taking pictures. Somehow keep going. Another aid station somewhere around mile 11. People are passing me. They don't look as tired as me. Lots of crowd support but I can't even appreciate it because I feel so awful.

I swear I'm never gonna make it. I wonder why I run these races. I'm so tired. The miles are DRAGGING by. I hope there is another aid station. I desperately need the walk break. There is one (HURRAH) around mile 12. I can see the skyline for Austin and see UT's stadium. I get EXCITED thinking we are almost done. Look down and I still have 3/4 of a mile to go. Curse it!!! So tired... and then there is a decently long gradual uphill. My legs feel like lead but I will not allow myself to walk. Keep going. Don't know how, but I do. Come around the corner and I can see the finish. I still cannot force myself to move any faster. Ironically, I hear my Eminem song "'Till I Collapse" during that final stretch. Man. I really did just want to give up.

Was beyond happy to cross that damn finish line. The after race stuff was AWESOME.  With the exception of water availability (I would MUCH rather prefer a bottle of water, or more water stations would have been better), it was everything you could want! Live music and TONS of food. There was breakfast burritos from Rudys, Subway, Austin pizza, cookies, protein bars, bananas and oranges. I had to get a small  box to carry all my stuff! Finally did some pictures:

Holding up 2 & 1 for state #21

Post Race 
Gun Time - 2:09:35
Chip Time - 2:06:53
Overall Place - 2203/4515
Gender Place - 993/2600
Division Place - 191/455
10K official Split - 57:20 (hehe, would have been a PR)
Official Pace - 9:41
Garmin Distance - 13.10 (never had an exact race before!)
Garmin Time - 2:06:53
Mile 1 & 2 - 8:43
Mile 3 - 8:55
Mile 4 - 9:27
Mile 5 - 9:09
Mile 6 - 10:19
Mile 7 - 9:59
Mile 8 - 10:15
Mile 9 - 9:57
Mile 10 - 10:15
Mile 11 - 9:54
Mile 12 - 9:53
Mile 13 - 10:19
Mile 13.1 - 9:00

We met up with our friend from Colorado that also ran. He also struggled a bit and didn't put up a time like he had hoped. Chris picked us up by the finish line and we headed back to their house for more lounging.

A "playing" the piano while we watched a marathon of "Pawn Stars" on the History channel. That show is FASCINATING!

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:30, and on the way to the airport we stopped and got some Whataburger. Look. She's reading the safety manual. Again.

R picked us up at the airport, and even though she was VERY adamant about NOT being tired, she crashed a few minutes into the drive.

I enjoyed my visit in Texas, but the race was pretty miserable. Under better conditions, I think the race would have been a ton better. It was very organized and there was lots of stuff that made it good. The weather and how I was feeling just made it suck. Bad.

I'm Still Here: Curried Cauliflower and Bean Soup

We are no longer picking up our phone too quickly, and our answering machine now says, "You have reached the L. residence. The status of the baby is ... NOT DELIVERED. Please try your call again later."

I'm only technically due today, but everyone seems to have expected Bean to make her arrival already. (I. was a week and a half "late," if you call it that.) Even our parents, who really ought to know better how this works ... news flash, folks: it's not like they give you a firm time and date ... this is more like the "furniture delivery" or "washing machine repair" window. It's probably a good thing that I didn't take off from work earlier, though now I guess I will add work colleagues to the list of people who will be inquiring about baby arrival until the baby actually arrives. Though I know that everyone means well, part of me just wants to be left alone until I have something to share, and would prefer that no one have any expectations at all.

That said, I'm trying to stay calm when I start to feel tightening, knowing that this could really happen at any moment now.  It's been good practice to try and channel my energies into Hypnobirthing techniques, and I hope I can actually practice them when the time comes and I'm really in labor.

In the meantime, life goes on, and I'm still cooking and doing laundry and grocery shopping and answering the slew of email that arrives in my work inbox.  If there is a place where pregnant women get to put their feet up and eat bonbons all day, I think I missed that memo.  (I did not, however, go to work today ... I took a nice long walk, bought myself and the boys a treat to celebrate the beginning of my maternity leave, picked up a few things at the grocery store, and listened to my Hypnobirthing CD, which I was supposed to be doing during the day for the last six weeks.)

One thing I cooked this weekend was this soup, on the recommendation of a colleague with extremely good taste (once upon a time we used to go out for adult meals together on a semi-regular basis).  I was glad I got the chance to eat it (because one never knows these days whether the meals I've cooked for the week will be eaten by me or by my mother, if she manages to get here to stay with I. when I'm in the hospital); I like that the beans give it some extra protein, in addition to thickening it, and the overall flavor is good.  The one thing I'm not sure about is the curry.  I've never been a huge fan of generic curry powder, and I wonder if it would work with, say, garam masala ... I know that would change the flavor, but it would be an interesting swap.  (See Penzeys for a quick primer on some alternative curry blends; they're my go-to spice supplier of choice ... maybe some day I'll do a Penzeys giveaway here).  Still, it's tasty, it's easy, and you may even have all of the ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator.  The original recipe says to add the curry powder at the end; my experience with curry powder is that one usually adds it during the saute step, in order to toast it a bit with the veggies.  I've reflected that change here.

Curried Cauliflower and Bean Soup

1 large red onion, peeled, rough chopped (about 3 cups)
1 T. olive oil
1/2 head cauliflower, broken into florets (about 5 cups)
4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
1 T. curry powder
1/2 t. salt
1 can (15.5 oz) garbanzo beans, drained (you could probably use just about any white beans)

Add onion and oil to stockpot on medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10-12 min, until onion begins to brown.  Add curry powder and stir for a minute or so until lightly toasted and fragrant.

Add cauliflower and stock to pot; cover. Increase heat to medium high. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook 25-30 min until veggies are soft.

Add salt and beans. Remove pot from heat. Puree soup carefully with handheld blender until smooth. Heat on low 4-5 min. Portion into heated bowls; garnish to taste (yogurt, toasted pine nuts or almonds, snipped chives, cilantro ... you get the idea).


The Rebirth of Mother Earth

Although we all have differing views...There is one thing that is certain..unless we ALL do SOMETHING..our planet will not survive...well..it will actually..Natural disaster can come and sweep us all away..and Our mother will rebirth herself..She CAN live without us..but we CANNOT live without her! 
If you listen to the following message..you can find a truth there that is universal...We MUST start making choices from our heart..not our minds or our wallet...I am not saying to throw it all away..that would create MORE problems..I AM saying...( as Anne of green gables said) Every day is a new start..fresh with NO mistakes in it...When faced with a choice..ask yourself this..which is the most LOVING way to do,deal or handle this...Loving for me, Loving for future generations, loving for everyone else. Then the choice will be clear..it's all about Love..Christ said it...but not everyone got the message...do EVERYTHING with loving intent..kinda hard to mess up when you look at it that way?

Please Checkout this link..if only out of curiosity!

Try this for Pancake Tuesdays Dinner!

Sweet Potato Pancakes!!!  IN A BLENDER!!

I had a left over baked sweet potato..and at the prices they are at this time of year..I was NOT throwing it away!
I had an epiphany!!  Someone once told me that molasses or maple syrup on sweet potatoes was awesome..so why not in pancakes!!!

Here is the recipe!
1 cup pureed cooked sweet potato
3TBS soft butter
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 and 1/2 cups of flour ( I used a blend of AP and whole wheat)
1 heaping tsp Baking powder( correction 1 TBL..my heaping teaspoons usually amount to that!)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Mix you flour and baking powder and set aside.
In the blender drop you pureed SP,cinnamon, butter and eggs..whip!!
Then add milk and blend on highest setting.
Turn down the blender so that you can safely take off lid while it's running..and gradually spoon in the flour...as it thickens turn up the speed until all ingredients are thickened.

now..here is the slightly tricky part..we USUALLY cook pancakes on a HOT HOT griddle and flip soon..because of the extra moisture..these take longer to cook..sooo..get your griddle ( or frying pan) HOT then turn down to medium...melt some butter in the pan..and pour a medium sized pancake onto the buttered pan...

See That lovely pale peach colour?
When the pancake is cooked half way trough..flip it gently..and cook it through.
then put on a plate in the oven to keep warm while you build your stack!
Serve them up with REAL butter and real maple syrup and a side of sausages ( these ones are veal)
What a treat!! You won't be sorry you stepped away from the everyday with this recipe!


Planting Cabbage or Broccoli? Keep it Earth friendly!

Keep those bugs off NATURALLY!

I am going to attempt planting cabbage this year..Maybe Broccoli too! To keep the moths off I am going to cover the row in a frost blanket tunnel...But today I heard of another method..a spray made of natural ingredients found Right in your kitchen!!
Here is the recipe!

Cabbage and Broccoli Spray
1 litre of warm water
1 TBS of molasses ( the good kind)
1tsp of dish detergent ( the kind for hand washing dishes)
mix well and pour into a garden sprayer
..and spray your cabbage and broccoli plants top leave and on the undersides as well. Every 3 or four days should do! 

Happy Planting!


Mr Half TRIing Cycle Training
I've been kicking up my training lately.  Last week was another great training week for me. 

Monday Lunch - 1hr Chest workout
Tuesday Lunch - 1 hr Back workout
Wednesday Morning - 1hr Swim @ gym
Wednesday Lunch - 1hr Bicep and Tricep workout
Thursday Lunch - Off due to funeral
Friday Morning - 1hr Swim @ gym
Saturday - 8 mile run followed by a 45min swim
Sunday - 41 miles road cycling @ 18-20mph pace

Image Source

New Torture Device
I have not been able to get in the amount of cycling I feel is needed so I decided to get Bonnie and I a trainer.  We got the CycleOps Fluid 2.  Now I get to torture myself at the gym and at home.  Yippie!!  Now all I have to do is figure our how to use the darn thing? Anyone have one of these?  Do they like it?

No Throwback Thursday
Sorry but I had an event to attend so last weeks Throwback Thursday was canceled.

Blog Slacking
Sorry for the lack of updates.  I've been slammed lately and just can not seem to find the time to get a post written.  I am also lacking interesting topics.  Any suggestions?!

I showed up twice last week on EMZ's blog.  You can find me here and here.  I'm making her pretty famous :-)  I think she likes dropping my name to bring her more web traffic.  I tend to bring in the crazy people demographic.

Strange Web Stats
My top referring URL last week?!
I'm not even going to touch that one.  Nor can I figure out why I got 11 referrals from that site!  
I know my blog is a train wreck but a car wreck also?

How should I know?
Apparently I am an expert on how tight triathlon shirts should be.  They should be so tight your eyes bug out and half your beer belly shows.  I got TWO people searching Google with "how tight should triathlon shirts" that landed onto my site.  So can you help me answer their question?  How tight should they be?

This Weekend

We finally went to see Tron in 3-D


We went with my brother Zak and his gf Aranessa, and our friend Carlo. A good time was had by all.

Baby Luke

We got to see my friend Melissa's baby Luke today at his "meet the baby" party.


He is such a cutie. Although he slept at first, luckily he was awake for a few moments.





Meanwhile Nile played with Luke's mommy.


Until it was my turn to hold him ... Nile suddenly became very interested in what I was doing ...

And I had to keep her from poking his eyes out.

Good thing Luke is a super chill baby! He is so adorable and sweet!

Here he is when we first met him on Dec. 21:



My, how he's grown!

Why Twi?

It's gone too far.


Neil's Amazing Hair Saga

Since I've known him, Neil has grown his hair out and then cut it short more times than I can count. It's unfair, really: my hair grows unbelievably slowly, while in the same amount of time, his goes through at least two long-to-short cycles.

He cuts his hair himself, which continually impresses me.

The most memorable hair saga was this past year, when he grew it long; then cut bangs; then cut a pageboy; then cut an Argentine mullet (though it was a little more Justin Bieber than the intended Lionel Messi look); then buzzed it.

Here was the process, chronicled during the months of July-August, 2010:


Neil's goal had been to grow it until he could do the "Samurai": the top part pulled back and the rest down.
He also sometimes wore it in a double topknot.



 Then, he cut bangs.


Next, he cut a pageboy (tapered/feathered from the bangs to the ends around the face)

Then, I made him come with me to the salon to get it all chopped -- into an "Argentine Mullet" (a very special, "futbol"-inspired mullet sported by every man and boy in Buenos Aires).

This was on the walk to the salon

Lisandro, my hairstylist, was trusted to do the job.

Lisandro and I are pals, having bonded over my rather frequent "brushings" -- Argentine Spanish for blowout -- followed by "planchita" (flat ironing)

Also, Lisandro is kinda cute. And has nice arms.

Nile and I chilled (see my nice brushing y planchita!) while the mullet was made.

I felt bad since, unbeknownst to Lisandro who is such a great guy, the mullet was a joke ... And he totally took like 45 min. to carefully cut it from every angle.

I love the original parquet floors in the salon.

Ahi va!

Like I said, a little too Bieb-ish, but still amazing

There's definitely a mullet there!

Hair by Lisandro


Of course, soon after he got the Argentine/Bieber Mullet, Neil buzzed his hair himself.

 This photo was taken August 25, 2010

and this is his hair today, January 30, 2010, five months later


It's not fair!