Wednesday, December 26, 2007


The Christmas update letters finally got to me, so I thought I'd write one, too.
It would have been nice to have mailed this before the holidays, but maybe it isn't too late?
Here goes:
If I were to use a journalistic method to summarize what 2007 was for me, it would be this:
Somewhere along this bumpy journey, between tremendous amounts of physical and emotional loss, I found myself.
Life isn't easy, I get that now.
I chose to challenge myself the best way I knew how -- I started running.
Along with the sore muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons, things started to change.
It became a healthy obsession, a need, eventually a want. I had to do it. I didn't feel good unless I did.
A few falls occurred, but I got back up.
I joined Team in Training, and they helped me achieve, but mostly, they gave me a reason to be. They taught me I should matter.
I trained and ran three half marathons and completed my first marathon -- 26.2 miles -- in June.
Twenty-six point two was the most amazing thing I have ever challenged myself with. I also raised, with the help of friends and family, more than $4,500 for blood cancer research.
That was very moving to me because so many people I loved were touched by cancer. It is evil.
There were other losses along the way, painful ones only time will heal.
But I will heal someday. So will the ones I love.
There's been lots of tears along the way. They still come. But because of people like you, I can endure them.
For people like you, I MUST endure them.
So if you are reading this, chances are you are part of the equation, a piece of the puzzle that, once put together, made the difference in my life.
I believe each of us is here for a reason. I'm not quite sure what mine is yet, but I'm here until I find out. Once I know, you'll likely read about it here.
Thank you for going with me on this journey. I couldn't -- and can't -- do it without you.

QoD: Why do you think are you here?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

2007 Dallas White Rock Marathon

No. 9252 is the lucky number.
Go here to keep track. Go Team!

QoD: What's your routine three days out from the race?

Image from

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ready to run

Pasta party is tonight. I am already in full race mode -- trying but not being successful in getting enough sleep or food.
As much as I like to carb load, I can't seem to clean my plate.
It's been heavily chronicled in this blog that last year I did this alone. No team or running partner, no one cheering in the crowds. I like to say it was just me and God, as it had been when I trained myself for this race last year.
This year, buddies Staci, Clay and Ian have said they'll be at mile 10, handing me my last bits of fuel that I don't have room for on my person, and hopefully some water or a beer. So nice of them, as the race officials have started issuing warnings about humidity, heat exhaustion and unseasonably freaked out weather that is expected tomorrow. We're hoping Chicago's curse doesn't hit Texas.
I am hoping for the right amounts of energy for tomorrow.
I'm psyched about the race. Lunch with Eric and Buckle yesterday before the Expo was just what I needed. We talked about our first events, how emotional they were for us and what that feeling at the start line in the middle of the crowd at race start is like.
Electric. The sights, sounds, smells, it's all just amazing.
Can't really describe it, but between that and MotownRunnerGirl's chronicling of my first event, I think it's safe to say:

"...I'm ready to run,
I'm ready to run,
I'm ready to run,
I'm ready to run...ready to run...
ready to run...yeah I'm ready to run. I'm ready
Whoa I'm ready to run...I'm ready...I'm ready to run...
I'm ready to run...I'm ready
Oh I'm ready to run..I'm ready."
--The Dixie Chicks (uh huh, also on my iPod):

QoD: What's your big challenge right now and are you ready to run with it?

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Expo

Went to packet pickup and the expo with Eric and Buckle, former colleagues and my local running inspirations.
Buckle, Eric and I went to the expo last year. It's a new tradition. It also gives me a chance to see my old buddies at my former newspaper.
This is funny. I am thinking about what things were like this time last year as I prepare for my event on Sunday.
When I did White Rock last year, not only was it my first event, but the first big thing I had ever done by myself.
Well, to say I did it alone isn't quite true. I was out there with a lot of people. I did start the race with some friends.
I crossed the finish line by myself and drove myself home. Like a big girl. Ha.
This time last year I had this, too, that got me through.
Can you believe it's been a year already?

QoD: Should 2008 be a year for out-of-town running trips?

Wha. what?!

They said no iPods.
Words like disqualification and danger and ... well, I don't care. I'm wearing mine.
I'm aware and appreciative of the run, of it all.
I may not be elite. You won't see me sail down that road at an 8-minute-mile pace (it's actually more than 12 on a really good day) but I'm a runner just the same.
I was motivated after reading this in the November issue of Runner's World.
I think my favorite is this one:
I AM A RUNNER because I know that despite my best efforts, I will always want more from myself. I will always want to know my limits so that I can exceed them.
That's by John Bingham's No Need For Speed column. Thanks.
So back to the music.
I have 169 songs on my iPod. About seven hours worth.
There are songs that have the word run in the titles. One with the word feet, another with the word heel.
Born to Run
Ready to Run.
Head Over Feet.
Head Over Heels.

Lots of alternative, rock, acoustic, dance.
All just my favorites that make my meditation during running so memorable sometimes.
They all have a purpose in my run.

QoD: What tunes get you through?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

deja vu, kinda

We had the biggest turnout tonight at Wednesday night run for the first send off for winter season Team in Training events.
The Wellstone Dallas White Rock Marathon is Sunday, the full starts at 8 a.m., along with the relay, and the half at 9, The full and half events have been sold out for weeks now.
NO IPODS.!!! That is another post before Sunday...
Tonight, the WRers did their three miles because we're tapering, while the Austin and Disney full runners did their five. I'll pick up the Austin half schedule next week in my attempt to keep busy.
Our hero Dave and his wife stayed late. They drove up in his new porsche, walked three miles and went to New York Pizza and Pasta with us. We had to pull eight tables of four together. Biggest group yet
We celebrated runners and the December birthdays. Lots of pizza, pasta and wine.
Dave was talking to us about how fast he's taken the Porsche -- 120 mph. He's got a radar detector that not only lets you know when the cops are around, it lets you know how many and where they are. He says she's a sweet ride.
Our winter season shirt says "This one is for Dave." Yep, it's his season. He is no longer in remission.
I've been nostalgic lately. Spiritual, too, but I am in memory mode.
Last year this time I was two months into running and suddenly going to run my first event, the one I'll do on Sunday.
I'm really doing this again for two reasons:
1) It was the first event, always special in my heart.
2)That first event for me, on Dec. 10, 2006, is the day Michael died.
I'll probably always do it for him.

QoD: What are your thoughts about your first event?

countdown to the race

So the White Rock Marathon and Half Marathon is this Sunday.
Psychotic Texas weather will be 67 degrees at the start of the full.
May the water gods keep the liquids flowing.
I am running the half again, this time with the team.
Tonight we have the TNT sendoff and we'll talk about Pasta Party.
Look for another post tonight.
Races make me want to blog.

QoD: How do you keep blogging when everything in your life collides?

Image is from, 2006 poster.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My first Trot

Hi friends!
Tell me that absence makes the heart grow fonder? I'm training again, so there will be lots of musings to write about.
The 40th Dallas Turkey Trot was Thursday. Yep, my first.
It was 38 degrees and windy.
My college buds Pam and Loretta talked me into doing the Trot with them and their daughter. Took my dog, Niki, who did the three miler with them and their dog, Snickers.
This was Niki's first event, and she did great!
Christy, aka Runnerish, ran with me, this was her longest mileage so far, as she's going to (hopefully) do the WR Half, too. Please register soon, C-Ro, will you? They are almost full.
I treated this as a dress rehearsal for the White Rock Half Marathon, which is in two weeks. A bit sore after the run. Did the 8 in just under two hours.
Afterward, Niki and I went with the girls to East Texas for a Thanksgiving feast with Pam and her family. We were surrounded by nature -- Zebras, Elk, Deer. This place used to be a nature preserve, so there were lots of animals just running free.
I'm thankful to be running free.

QoD (remember this?): How do you feel when you run free?

Image from

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


My sister Becky gave me this box when I was a little girl.
Inside of it was a caterpiller, a white cylinder-looking thing (cocoon) and a book that explained metamorphosis and lifecycle changes. It had a picture of a Monarch butterfly at the very back.
The cocoon intrigued me.
I looked at it with wonder every time I held it.
Would it break open if I touched it too much?
Does the light affect it?
Why are there these two things and a book with pictures of butterflies?
Once I knew what it meant, it intrigued me even more.
How is it that something can exist, stop, change and appear to be reborn?
Stages, science tells us. Lifecycle stages.
When the caterpiller begins to change, it is taken over by a silk that becomes a cocoon. The way I understand it is that the cocoon's purpose is to protect the Monarch until she is ready to emerge and fly.
I've walked into silk lately. Lots of friends have worked together to weave that layer of protection for me. I've needed it, and I thank you.
Wouldn't it be nice if when we went through lifecycle stages of change that we could emerge as beautiful as the Monarch?
It's not about the beauty, it's about the journey. Again.
It's a good thing I am buying new running shoes. This journey seems to have no end.

QoD: Who weaves your cocoon? And are you ready to fly?

Photo credits: University of South Dakota Web site on phenomena.

P.S. Ten miles last Saturday. Both IT bands are sore. Nine this Saturday. Soon, we head to White Rock for a few dress rehearsals before the big day, Dec. 9.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Andy's comment on my blog posting about loss has me thinking about snowflakes now.
He is so right, none are the same, they are all different.
It reminded me of the first time I saw a snowflake.
I was about nine years old. It never snowed much in San Antonio when I was growing up. They actually sent us home early from school so we could play in the snow -- before it melted.
I remember it was a Friday afternoon, likely in January or February. I remember telling my Mom that the yard looked like someone had spilled a bunch of raspas, or snowcone shavings, in the grass.
She laughed and said if I caught snowflakes in my hands, I'd notice that they are all different. Of course, I paid attention for a second, agreed, but never really noticed it. I just wanted to play before it became slush.
Years later, Mom crocheted snowflakes for our Christmas tree. She made four of them, for each kid. We each had one to hang, whichever one we grabbed first.
"Mom, they aren't the same," I told her.
With that mom look, she said, "Mija, they aren't supposed to be!"
It was Christmas 1991, seven months after Mom died, Daddy sat the four of us down at the house so we could divide up the Christmas decorations. This was Mom's favorite holiday.
Boxes and boxes of glass balls that my parents had collected through their 45 years of marriage.
Lights. Angels. Cheesy paper cutouts with glitter that each of us made through the years during school. The four snowflakes that my mother crocheted
years earlier.
I don't remember which of us said it, but it was noticed.
"None of these are the same." They are unique.
It's kind of like the four of us, I thought, as I sat next to my siblings, reminiscing with some tears about Mom and the decorations we sifted through.
You're right, Andy. There's no right answer for how to deal with loss. It's the memories that get us through, help us endure. Never forget.
So, it's really not about snowflakes, I guess. It's about people.
Thanks, Andy, for reminding me of the things my Mom would have said to me.
I am listening.

QoD: How many times have you thrown away cards or letters written to you by your parents?
(Well, stop it. I wished I would have saved one thing, anything, my mother wrote me.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Find True North, runners!

There's a monastery of cloistered nuns on my running route, not far from my house. It's just southwest from where I live.
The Discalced Carmelite Nuns, Arlington Carmel, don't know me, and I don't know them. But, in a sense, they are my True North, the place that I run to and past everyday for strength. That's where I get my energy from.
They are followers of St. Therese of Lisieux.
I ran Saturday morning, past Mt. Carmel, in anticipation of MotownRunnerGirl and her peeps, who will be running the half at the Detroit Marathon today.
Hopefully the sisters' influence on me, from 1,000 miles away from my northern friends, will help them out this morning.
I only did five (not my full nine because I've worked the past three nights and I've been waking up too late and without enough time to do the complete run and still chill before work). But when the Michiganders are running their race this morning, I'll finish my 'Saturday' run while I do a sympathy -- or envious, rather -- four right here in my hood, and toward my True North.
I'm going to have to visit the monastery someday. Maybe the sisters sing vespers at Christmas? They should. For the real True North.

P.S.: Northerners, good luck. And MRG, don't forget to post your times. Or eat that juicy burger with a big, cold beer. :-D

QoD: At what point did you realize True North was calling you? And did you listen?

(Pictures from above from St. Francis, at bottom, is mine.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

One year later

I’ve come full circle.
A year ago this month, I started running. Actually, I started walking. Then, it turned into running.
I ran in fog Tuesday morning. It was thick enough to slice. I wore black, so I felt I was among the clouds.
It was a bittersweet anniversary. Lots of loss right now, so I’m distracted. It makes it difficult to celebrate sometimes.
I had a meltdown Tuesday morning when I ran. Full-blown tears. I bet I looked pretty.
It’s the loss – personal and otherwise.
Coach Neil told me Saturday that I shouldn’t run the full White Rock Marathon in December because since I didn’t run for two weeks (vacation and board meeting), I’m behind in training.
He doesn’t think I can catch up without getting hurt.
I thought of that Tuesday morning when my shins started hurting about a mile into the run. My fault, I didn’t stretch or drink enough water last night. He’s probably right, I don’t want to listen, but I will.
Maybe there’s a reason I have to do the WR half again.
Improve my time?
Keep tabs on my team?
Erase last year’s bad memory since it was the day Michael died?
I think a lot when I run. Tuesday was different. Way more intense.
Sometimes I don’t feel anything. It’s like floating. It’s just me and the music.
And too much time to think.

I get too flooded with things in my head.
I miss my best friend.
No WR full this year.
C lost the baby. She was more than half way along.
I miss Michael.
I miss my family.
What the hell am I doing with my life.
See? No rhyme or reason, it just rolled in, like the fog. Right into my head.
Sorry I’ve been away. I think now you probably know why.
I’m a little distracted.

New to the blog: I want to pose a question of the day. It could morph into a thought, but right now I’m into questioning.

QoD: How do you learn to live with loss?

Think about it, and answer, please.
And thanks for reading.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Sept. 22-28, 2007
SAYULITA, Nayarit, Mexico -- Ah.
Hola, amigos! Que bonita esta la playa aqui en Mexico!
Sorry, folks. Thinking and dreaming in Spanish for six days is a beautiful thing.
Brenda, Deb, Sarah and I have been staying in a really awesome house high above a village about 40 minutes due somewhere from Puerto Vallarta.
We helped Sarah celebrate her 52nd birthday on Monday (Sept. 24). The week has been full of great times, food and drink.

The four of us have noticed that the people of Sayulita love dogs. There are lots of them and they like to comb the beaches with the people. There are very few cats, and they seem to only come out at night.
What is great about this place is that there are mostly locals here -- they might not all be native Mexicans. They hail from somewhere, but they are locals now, and enjoy the same things we have this week:
Pico de gallo.
Salsa de tomatillos.
Fish tacos.
Did I say Margaritas? They are HUGE and carry a punch that not even I can handle. I had to, um, lay off of the tequila on Tuesday after having a few of these on the beach. The waves were amazing, too.
It has rained every night since we got here last Saturday, but today (Friday), it has rained all day long.
We fly back to Texas tomorrow. We're hoping for one more afternoon of sun (it ain't happening today) and one more blast of the sun Saturday morning to solidify the tans for the rest of the year.
So, ojale que viene el sol, amigos!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

salute to the king tonight

Just when you thought it was over, a two-hour special airs tonight on Elvis. It's been 30 years since his departure from here.
OK, I guess we could say death...
Seriously, could you imagine him doing the hip action at this age?
As the running docs say, motion is lotion.
If anyone could do it, he could.
Happy Tuesday.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Happy Monday

Dear Fans of Circle30,

So sorry that I have been AWOL. My sister, Becky has been after me for weeks to blog. As has Margarita, Amy, Andy and my niece, Marisa.

Life lately has been a little much. I kind of feel like I've needed a refill, kind of like this glass of water.

So apologies for not keeping in touch, especially for the relatives, who reminded me that absent my trips home, this is the only way they know what is going on in my life.

So what's everyone been up to?

I've been running. I went to Michigan and ran the Crim and saw the Boblo! Coach Neil proposed to Becky (not my sister) at Wednesday night run. She said YES!

Soon, I'll write about Crim weekend for the Michiganders. I'll try and do that before I head to Mexico next week.

Until then, hasta. And remember, I love you all.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I had a really good run today.
It was one of those runs where it's sunny outside, there's actually a breeze (in August), and, according to St. John's marquis, it was 76 degrees.
It just ... felt really good.
My morning running route is a busy one. There's three churches and one Catholic school. A doctor's office. A grocery store/shopping center. A 7-Eleven. Taco Bell. Subdivisions of brick houses. A park. A convent. Rush Creek winds through it.
Headed West down the road from my house, just beyond the Kroger shopping center, is a huge house on land that is about two and a half lots large. They have two horses.
One is larger than the other. The top of the smaller one's head reaches to about the jaw of the big one. I imagine it's mother and child. The horses' small field abuts the park.

This morning, as I listened to my iPod and enjoyed the run, I glanced toward the field with horses. They were standing thisclose to each other, one almost leaning into the other. They were watching the people in the park.
That was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I was overcome, really.
I just love it when I have a good run like this. Such clarity, peace. No pain in the knees!
Well, it was only three miles, but I guess that really means that I only have seven more to go for the Crim in Michigan this weekend!
I have so much to do between now and Friday morning...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I found him!

Who woulda thunk it?
Elvis Presley is living in a gated community in Roanoke,Texas!
Actually, it's long been rumored that The King was in the Lone Star State, just hanging out, taking care of business, and keepin' it real.
Speaking of TCB, I haven't been doing that lately with this blog. It seems forever since I posted anything -- yes, it has been ages, really. That's probably why I am discombobulated about everything in general. No outlet, so I'm back. Maybe blogging will get me back in sync.
So hello!

Back to Elvis...
The 30th anniversary of his "death" was last week. Sources spotted several Elvis look-alikes and movie characters at a recent party in North Texas.
Think young and old Elvis.
The cape. The gold suit.
Think "Viva Las Vegas."
Think "Harem Scarem."
Don't forget some tackiness thrown in, too...
It was a good rememberance of The King, even though he really couldn't make it.
He was likely TCB somewhere else.

What else have I been up to? Went to a roller derby bout this past weekend. Very fun and interesting, but that's another post...
In other news, I'm going to Michigan on Friday, this is Crim weekend!
I hear it's cool there. It is really hard to imagine taking a long sleeve shirt anywhere right now. It's only been in the upper 90s this week.
I hope I'm ready for the Crim. I haven't run as much as I should be, work is really kicking my ass, and there's been a lot of stuff going on in the other layers of my life.
No doubt, though, I am certainly ready to see the Michiganders and some cool weather!
So for those of you who have stopped by and shared thoughts about your journey, sorry I've been away.
For those nice thoughts, I say, in the words of The King:
Thankya. Thankyaverymuch.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Getting ready

I missed much of the meeting the other night on being a Team in Training mentor. I was working. New job but really the usual stuff that happens when you work for a daily newspaper.
I arrived right after the pep rally and pizza, just in time to break out into groups and talk about who does what and when. Blah.
So I had to get back into the picture archives and see what I might have missed.
My only experiences other than what we have done with the DFW Metro Running Team were in San Diego and the pasta and victory parties.
These folks were crazy excited for the participants.

I seriously felt like I was at my high school pep rally the time our basketball team made it to state. Electric. Exciting. Energizing.
It will be fun to capture that for others who are just about to make their decision and sign on the dotted line to raise money for LLS.
Frankly, the best part about being able to go through all the motions is to watch the others and their reactions, their changes. I know I changed.

Crazy, I think I can do that. Make up, colored, foil hair? That, too.
Just the chance to watch, listen and learn. Run. That's what I'm looking forward to.

Dr. Doogie "fixed" my other IT band issue. He says "run, what are you waiting for?" Thank God. I am waaaaayyyy behind training for the Crim.

No running today, however, up early to read all and every bit of news. The (new) inmate (me) will be running the asylum. My editor is off.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The new season

This cult called Team in Training is wonderful.
I've been struggling lately, trying to get back into my running routine. OK. I'll say it. I've been afraid.
It hasn't been easy -- these IT band issues. They both hurt, the right more than the left, since San Diego. I don't want to freak up my knees, but I don't want to stop running, either.
I've run only slightly since the marathon, mainly because I have wanted to try and see if I could actually run again without pain so I could be a mentor for the winter season. But you can't really mentor runners very well if you can't run with them, can you?
So I've been trying to gather inspiration where I can.
I even got the bag out again, the one that TNT Captain Laura and the mentors put together for the team for this summer's events. They gave it to us in April, at our 15-miler, the first really long run we did at White Rock.

I pulled it out on Wednesday. I took it to work with me for inspiration. It also was the day the team leader at the LLS office blew up e-mails to remind folks that the deadline was near to apply to be a mentor.
I felt I needed something here at this point if I was going to get back to where I was, something that had become my cocoon, my comfort zone. Running. With the team. For a purpose.
I opened the bag again. Because I had it at work and didn't want to have to explain to each person who walked by, I just mainly looked inside. but really kept it shut so that others wouldn't start going through my stuff. Things like that happen in my new/old digs at my new job. But that's a different blog post...

The surprise of the day came on yahoo, when I got an e-mail from Laura. I hadn't been out to Wednesday Night Run in about a month. They missed me. She wanted me to apply to be a mentor.
So I did, and I got in. The new season kicks off while I'm running the Crim at the end of the month.
I still worry about the IT bands, so I've been diligent about seeing my new chiropractor, a sports medicine doctor who is really more like a Whisperer (doesn't look like Robert Redford, more like Doogie Howser).
He hasn't adjusted me once, he's done mostly physical therapy on me and my homework assignments are exercises that look a lot like pushups without lifting the body below the pelvis.
Yesterday, Dr. Doogie put his fingers between my IT band AND my knee and leg bones on the right and pulled the sucker out from behind the knee bone and away from the rest of the leg. (I don't think I need to describe the pain here). But it feels better and other than just being sore from that maneuver, it doesn't stab like it did. (We do this again on Tuesday. I can't wait).
He says I'll be fine.
So all you TNTers out there who have gone down this road before, what do you look for, want, in a mentor?
More inspiration please?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Full circle

My ride on the elevator this morning was surreal.
I had a deja vu.
I was 28 years old the first time I walked through the doors at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. That's a little bit ago.
Spent most of the day trying to log in and get my e-mail operational.

I'll be glad when I can edit stories. It's been a week and a half since I edited anything.
The inside of the building still smells of ink and hot wax. I love it. I really miss the sounds and the vibrations of the printing facility, normally in the basement or ground level of a newspaper.
I was seeking a new journey, a new adventure.
I'm glad that this is the place. Again.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I got a new job -- start "this week," on vacation... Sweet.
Visiting Daddy, stepmom, sisters, brother and their families.
It's hot and humid in the Alamo City, as always. It's a certain feel, I can't say I have felt the exact thing in Houston, Corpus Christi, Austin, or Dallas-Fort Worth.
Things are green, the sky is blue. I tried to find a skyline picture for this blog, but everyone is really proud of them -- must purchase this photo...I'll take my own later. Thank goodness Mapquest is Mapquest...
I came fully prepared to run. Violated the cardinal rule, though.
I ate hot sauce last night.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Last day

It's my last day of work today at The Dallas Morning News. I am sad, I will cry, but I'm happy.
I leave more than a workplace, a job. It leave some really awesome people. Great friends who are like family, who care about me and others and are just amazing to share space and air with.
Great journalists that inspire me to be better every day.
I hope they always orbit my earth.
I just travel west now, back over the Trinity River, to the competition, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where I spent 10 years of my professional life before I left them seven years ago.
Funny, when I left there back then, I cried, too, listening to friends who were also like family wish me good luck "on the dark side."
I have gone full circle, again.
But it's not goodbye. It's see y'all later, on the other side of the Trinity.

This is a really great song that kind of sums up what I feel today. Thanks 10,000 Maniacs.


These are days you'll remember.
Never before and never since, I promise, will the whole world be warm as this.
And as you feel it, you'll know its true that you are blessed and lucky.
It's true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.

These are days you'll remember.
When May is rushing over you with desire to be part of the miracles you see in every hour.
You'll know its true that you are blessed and lucky.
It's true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.

These are days.

These are the days you might fill with laughter until you break.
These days you might feel a shaft of light make its way across your face.
And when you do you'll know how it was meant to be.
See the signs and know their meaning.
Its true, you'll know how it was meant to be.
Hear the signs and know they're speaking to you, to you.

Have your day, everyone.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

He talks a mile a minute about life and the news.
He giggles about irreverent things. He has a great sense of humor and a really quick wit.
It's hard to believe that my father turns 88 years old today.
Sometimes he'll get on such a rant about politics, I get kind of scared. (I won't discuss those things with him on my cell phone anymore).
Luis is a character. He always has been. I remember him making my mom turn red with the things he'd day to her. He liked teasing. He still does.

One of my fondest memories is the ritual we had when I was little. I would hear when he arrived home from work. The car in the driveway. A door slam. The squeaky screen door opens.
I'd run from wherever I was in the house to greet him.
When I was little, he'd scoop me up in is arms and look me in the eyes, kiss my cheek. He always said these words: "De quien es la reina chula?" (roughly translated, something like who does the pretty little princess belong to).
"De Daddy," I'd say.
To this day, he still asks me that, whether it's in person, on the phone, in birthday or Christmas cards.
I could never have enough space to write or the time to discuss all the wonderful things, beliefs, principles, faith that is my father. He is indeed the greatest man I have ever known.
He also makes one heck of a whisky drink.
Happy Birthday, Daddy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Free association Tuesday

Brandon saved my life Friday night...
I am leaving my newspaper on the East Side of the river to go back to the West Side of the river. Great thing is that I don't have to move, the commute becomes shorter, and I am returning to a place I spent 10 years of my professional journalism career before I crossed the river to my current paper seven years ago. (Don't do the math).
The going-away parties began last Friday. My boys took me out to the "gayborhood" in Dallas for drinks. Lots of vodka drinks. :-D
Interesting thing occurred -- a man walked up to me (don't think he was gay), stood next to me, got in my face and said: "You are an arrogant son of a bitch!"
I am glad I had so many vodka drinks, I would have probably tried to really figure out why he was talking to me, and one of my boys would have likely gotten into a fight trying to pull me off this psycho.
We really couldn't figure it out. Brandon immediately tried to get between us -- so cute protecting me. The man was no match for Brandon's wit. Even with vodka drinks Brandon can calmly debate like no other.
I really couldn't figure it out. It made me wonder, am I an arrogant son of a bitch?
Maybe he thought I was a drag queen.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


OK, before anyone starts the critique, this is my first video...
It is never going to stop raining.
The lakes and rivers are so swollen, they are cresting. The waters are just about to flow over spillways at several dams in the state.
Girl Scout camps are under water in Northeast Texas at Lake Texoma (at the border of Oklahoma and Texas).
It has rained for about three months, it's unbelievable.
The mosquitoes are horrible.
The fleas are horrible (poor Niki, I found a flea on her the other day. She hasn't had a flea since we found her in the park seven years ago).
The sun hasn't been out in like three months.
Some broadcaster asked on radio today, which is worse, drought and oppressive heat, or endless rain and awful mosquitoes?
As I sit here applying Afterbite for the mosquito bites I got at a fireworks display on the Fourth of July, I am thinking oppressive heat and drought isn't that bad.

P.S.: A special thanks to Andy Isaac, who walked me through uploading this video. Google is really the way to go.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Mud run (sorta)

OK, so maybe you really can't see the mud very well on my legs or shoes, but it's there.
It did not rain this morning, so I hit the road.
Today was the first day of unofficial-official training for upcoming runs -- Too Hot to Handle (Dallas, July 21) and The Crim (Flint, MI, Aug. 25).

3 miles
40 minutes
13.44 average pace (according to Nike+iPod)

P.S.: Note to people whose houses back up to sidewalks on streets known to have runners: TRIM YOUR FREAKING TREES.
Branch of live oak with a side of Bradford Pear leaves DOES NOT taste good.
I'm calling code enforcement.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It won't stop raining!

It's coming down too hard to run in.
Sixteen days this month so far -- 10 inches, one inch away from a record set in June 1928. We were in a drought. Not anymore.
If you wanna read about how wet it's been in Texas, visit There, you can also watch video of the rushing waters at White Rock Lake.
Actually, it's been so bad that it made national news.
While I watched HBO last night, the Emergency Alert System actually interrupted the program to warn about evacuations in a neighboring county. On a cable channel. That's never happened before.
The entire state has been hit pretty hard lately. Eleven people have drowned in the past week and a half. Right now, 22 North Texas counties are under a flood warning. Thousands have been evacuated from their homes.
It's supposed to rain for at least another week.
I've replaced the batteries in my weather radio, and I'm watching the creek down the street.
So while I sat in my kitchen, sipping a vodka drink and listening to the raindrops hit my roof, I thought if anyone would have a song about rain and floods, the man in black would.
He did.

P.S.: Don't drive in low-water crossings. It doesn't take that much rushing water to pick up a vehicle.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ride with caution -- updated

Editor's Note: The previous post on "Ride with caution" was removed. Apologies for being crass. It was the big story of the day, however...

So, Amy and Al, here's a little story about the ride:

I love amusement park rides. I like rollercoasters -- the higher and faster, the better -- despite the fact that I have motion sickness.
The best thing I ever did was ride an F-16 for an hour for a story I wrote.
It was the 25th anniversary of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, which is built at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth
I used to edit the business writer who covered the plant. At a planning meeting one day, he mentioned that we should do something on the anniversary. We were in a room full of other editors. It was then that I made the statement.
"I'd give anything to take a ride on one."
"Really," the reporter said. Absolutely, I said, without really thinking that he could make it happen.
A few days later, he was at my desk. "Guess what?"
He said they offered -- and he couldn't do it because of his back.
They were serious, he said, and brought our department editor in the mix.
Everyone agreed, so a few weeks later, I took the ride of a lifetime.
I spent the entire morning that day, getting checked -- a physical. Eye test, blood pressure, hearing, lung capacity.
I told the doctor three times that I get motion sick, and he gave me some pill and said it is better than anything out there.
After I was fitted for a pressurized flight suit, I sat in a room while the captain/pilot instructed me using little models on what to do inside the plane. Simple, really, since I'd be sitting behind him while he flew.

"Whatever you do, don't pull this lever. It's the ejection lever."
Thanks. I won't be able to keep my eyes off of it now.
He showed me on the map where we'd be going. "Ever been to West Texas? We can get there in just a few minutes."
Once I had my parachute fitted and attached to my body, we circled the plane to do checks. We climbed aboard and were off.
Plane shoots straight up in the air. Clouds coming toward us faster than anything I could have ever imagined. Suit tightens around my mid-section like someone is squeezing me.
"Feel that? That's about three Gs. We can do nine," he said, "But you'd probably pass out."
I couldn't speak because I was squeezed, and about to get sick.
They had told me not to get sick in the plane, it cost $25 million.
"If you feel sick, just take the oxygen mask off and do it in the suit."
Easy for you to say, I thought.
I threw up three times.
We did a loop, pulled nine Gs (three at a time), and I got to fly the plane a bit.
We also flew in formation with a few other jets.
It was a beautiful spring day in Texas, we saw a good part of the state on our ride.
When it was over, they poured a bucket of water over me when I got off the plane. This was needed because I'm sure I didn't smell very good. And I got a little model of the plane I flew in, with my name painted on the side, behind the captain's.
I was too busy to notice there was video shot of this experience, and lots of pictures, too.
All in an hour that I will never forget.


Photo from:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

They leave today

The Anchorage group, pretty much most of the team I trained with this summer season.
They'll get on the plane this afternoon for the loooooong flight from Dallas to Alaska.
No running for them yesterday, just last minute fund-raising at Cantina Laredo.
I had to work late so I didn't get to buy anything, I just ate, and drank.
This is Terri's ninth marathon.
Not sure how many this makes for Laura, our captain, but I imagine it's up there, too. Afterall, she's done the Goofy Challenge at Disney. I am not quite sure how one can run a half marathon one day and a full marathon the next. But if anyone can do it, she can.

Here's to the team, again. We'll celebrate them next Wednesday and hear all about their run, their rafting trip and whether or not they gave the keys to Coach Neil to drive the van. He's kind of a...scary driver.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Welcome Back, Kotter

From the vault. Not a clear Horshack laugh, but believe it or not, that's pretty hard to find on video.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Free association Tuesday

Apologies for "slacking," as Andrew Isaac said.
So, runners, is this the funk after the marathon? After the event takes place, there's so much anticipation, so much a freak like me can talk about leading up to, during and right after. Then, you do your thang and it's over?
Well, there's only one more event left for the summer team. I'll write about that Wednesday night.
This makes me very sad...
Yep, I'm in a funk. And this isn't even a running blog, but it just sort of turned into one once I started the training. It gave me lots to write about.
Hard to believe I'd run out of subjects to discuss, but I feel I have. So that just leaves me to free associations, something I used to only do when I had too many cocktails. Can't have too many cocktails anymore. That's what training and clean living did for me. Dammit.
OK, so here we go...
Texas Weather
It's been ridiculous, and it made CNN. I complained Sunday night with flight delays coming back from Cali and finally landed hours later than expected and STILL couldn't get my luggage until the next day.
I zipped it up when I read about the people that were killed in North Texas flooding, in Gainesville and Haltom City, where a young girl was pulled from her mother's arms. See link below for complete, multimedia coverage...
It's supposed to rain most of the week. Again. Hopefully without incident.
Panda ancestor found
OK, trying to find some "good, uplifting" news today, this was the only thing I found among lots of headlines that talk about death.
Julia Roberts had another baby. I'm sure it is beautiful. Congrats.
Bon Jovi insists their latest album isn't country. Well, sounds to me like if they have to talk about it, it must kind of be true. Soon to be played at a country bar near you...
OH! The Spurs in four. FOUR! I thought they'd do it in five, but hey, I'll take it. Go, Spurs, GO!
I think I'll run this afternoon, just for fun.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I'd like to be:
With a cold beer.
My dog under a shade tree.
Jammin' with this dude.

By the way, I run in the South, it ain't that bad, y'all.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Can't forget

Someone once told me when I reached the point in marathon training that I thought I was nuts or couldn't go on any longer, to think of the heroes, past and present.
It surely was a way to put all of the will and pain in perspective.
I want to point out what I kind of refer to as the hands behind the back that gave me an added push during my race on Sunday.

Albert Latty. He was the father of a very good friend of mine. Yvonne lost her dad shortly before her first daughter was born. I couldn't be with or talk to Yvonne on her birthday because I was running a marathon that day. My present to her was having her dad's name on my back. She misses her father, but it's almost like she sees him every day because her little girl has his eyes.
Eileen Davidson. Her daughter, a former colleague of mine, is a national award-winning photojournalist. When Barbara heard that I was raising money for leukemia and lymphoma research, she gave me several photographs to auction for the cause, in memory of her mother who died about five months ago.
Vernon Zeigler. The father of one of my peer editors. Mr. Zeigler passed away a few months ago. Clay and I have a sarcastic, irreverent-type of relationship with each other. But in an e-mail he sent me before the race, he wowed me with this: "I'm taking you at your word that every little bit helps. For my little bit, I'm hoping you can run a few steps for Vernon Zeigler, who couldn't bear cancer a fourth time. My mother and I miss him."
Andy Isaac. I know this incredibly funny man only through a blog link at MotownRunnerGirl. He writes about his life, conversations with his father, politics, sports, Detroit Metro news, food and movies. He also talks about his fight with Hodgkins disease. Well, he just finished his last chemotherapy session last week!
I anxiously await what he's got to say about the upcoming Spurs-Cavaliers matchup. Although a diehard Pistons fan, Andy has said that the Spurs are the best team in the NBA with the best coach ... as has been posted earlier, I never forget a thing, so Andy, I will keep reminding you of that fact. Thanks for your musings, you freaking crack me up. Please continue.
This just in:
"...Our 48 North Texas TNT participants raised more than $182,000- when you combine all 3,920 TNTers in the event, we raised OVER $14.8 million this weekend alone in San Diego!!! I hope you enjoyed your event!"

Yeah, sure did.

Monday, June 04, 2007

26.2 Rocked!

SAN DIEGO -- People who know me know that I don't forget a thing -- something I am really grateful for now, because I could not post my experiences Sunday after running my first full marathon
I will never forget this experience, that's for sure.
It won't be because of the pain I'm feeling right now and will feel for about the next four days.
So let me try and recreate Sunday a bit.
I did a full marathon. Twenty-six-point-two miles. And thank God Sarah was there with me, right by my side the whole time. We pulled each other along as we kept counting down mileage ... to beer.
The Rock 'N Roll Marathon in San Diego is an incredible event. There were 20,000 participants -- 4,000 of them Team in Training runners and walkers. Seas of purple shirts, and some white shirts with purple lettering were everywhere.

The gun went off at 6:30 a.m. after the Marine Corps Recruit Depot band marched along and played a mixture of songs for the crowd. A band at almost every mile. A team of Elvises led the runners at the start.
The route was awesome. A slight incline that lasted probably for the first half of the race didn't seem to bother me.
But I should have known there was some foreshadowing occurring when, as we passed mile six, Sarah asked me if I was sure that I was running my pace.
"I don't know, but I feel GREAT." (A Tony the Tiger moment).
About mile 10, I noticed something about my breathing -- it was labored. VERY labored. So we slowed it down. We took in the beautiful scenes of San Diego.
Things were indeed great, made the half in really good time.
All awesome until mile 18. I have NEVER had an IT band issue on my right leg. Well, guess what? That nifty IT band strap I bought at the Expo for my left knee that immediately took the pain away had to be ripped off my left leg and slapped on the right. The pain in that leg went from 0-10, with 10 being intense pain, in a matter of minutes, it seems. There was limited running after that for me. It was more of a limpy, draggy leg run.

Meanwhile, Sarah began cramping in both thighs around the same time a blister took over her right little toe. I stretched her at 18, and she stopped a few times for blister care along the route after.
Things seemed OK then until mile 23 when there was this funky turnaround under an overpass that just made it seem more like 33 miles to go instead of just three. Another blister stop for Sarah, and this time I couldn't look at it. OUCH.
I had to hit the portapotty again (see below), and I thought for a moment I would stop drinking liquids until the finish so we wouldn't lose anymore time. Sarah gave me this look like I had just put a crack pipe in my mouth.
Then, the last mile. OMG. I said lets run it in. We did, right into the gates of the base. Sarah and I crossed holding hands. I cried like a baby. Sobbed, really.
We finished in 6:57. I won't round, sorry...!

OK. Here's what fueled me:
--Five packets of GU, at start, 4, 8, 12, 16.
--One packet of PowerBar gel with caffeine at 20 (should have probably taken that one at the half).
--Forty ounces of Accelerade (YUCK) in my fuel belt.
--Water at EVERY stop. That's probably why I had to hit the portapotties about 12 times between miles 18 and 26.
--Sheer will.
I had really cute conversations with my parents before I came out to San Diego and right after the race when I called my father to tell him I was on the grounds of the MCRD, where he did boot camp during WWII and was based there during the Korean War in the '50s.
He was tickled and proud.
My stepmom asked me if I won. I said no, and explained that I was just so happy to finish.
But thinking back on it, I guess I did, in so many ways that don't have a thing to do with running.
Thanks to Sarah for doing this with me. One of the top five moments of my life. (I really only have three, and you have been there for all of them).
The bloggers of MotownRunnerGirl who have stopped by and read this. Your words of wisdom and encouragement helped more than you know. Margarita, thanks for joining my mentor in talking me into changing my event from a half to a full. Your blog, e-mails and texts and phone calls of support and inspiration were and are awesome, dawg.
My family, colleagues, friends that I haven't seen because I have been training all the time, thanks for your love and support. Mi NAHJ gente, too, abrazos y besos a todos. Can't forget everyone who helped me surpass my goal. You all helped me cross the finish line in spirit.

Many thanks to Coach Senja and Coach Russell and the rest of the RNR marathoners of Team North Texas, of course. It is definitely a cult that I am proud to be a part of.
Oh, and I'll try not to be too annoying about this marathon thing for too much longer. :-D

xoxox, liz