Wednesday, May 30, 2007

San Diego sendoff

It was San Diego night tonight at Wednesday night run.
I ran 3 miles, the Anchorage people ran 5 (I think they run their 17 this weekend).
We got our little goodies, ate cake, took pictures and hugged.
The plane takes off from DFW Airport at 11:30 Friday morning.
I'm excited, nervous, can't eat or sleep.
Four days.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Last call

OK, so I had some cocktails Sunday night!
It's all good, it is kind of a last call type thing because I have to hydrate this week.
Marathon is in six days.
Sarah and I went Sunday night to J.Gilligans, an awesome hangout in Arlington. It's where every University of Texas at Arlington student (and old hippy types) like to hang out.
The night's entertainment was a band called The B Street Band, a Bruce Springsteen cover band. Our friends Larry and Sandy flew them in from Jersey to play their Empty Nest/Graduation party. Their daughters each graduated this week.
The band was awesome! I had a blast, along with five (or was it six) Killian's Irish Red beers. : |
No more drinking until after the marathon.
Like I said, it was kind of like a last call type thing. That's why I drank so much. Just saying...

Anyway, the party was for Sandy and Larry and their girls -- Katie and Sarah, who both graduated, college and high school, respectively. Judging by their dancing and singing along, these girls were raised on Springsteen.
We danced all night, ate Irish potato skins and Mexican nachos. Beer. Yum.
The highlight for me, besides the fun and fellowship, was when I got to strum the lead guitarists guitar during their final song, "Born to Run." How appropriate. And I got his pick.
How freaking cool is that?
Did I say it's six days until the marathon?


Friday, May 25, 2007

The jersey, the journey

I'll never forget the first time I saw a Team In Training jersey. It was on display at an information tent/booth at one of the running events that I went to with Sarah and our friend Kathy several years ago while Sarah and Kathy were in training for their duathlon.
I was captivated by the color purple -- my favorite.
I wished that one day I would have the courage, the stamina, the will to train for something.
Well, here's my jersey.
It's beautiful, isn't it?
Nine days until the marathon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Baby, oh, Baby!

I'm going to be an auntie again!
Actually, a "great" before the title, please. No. 2 child of niece No. 2.
I had a few cocktails, some snackies at a mixer tonight, and then Marisa called me with the news.

I screamed into the phone. High-pitched scream.
Kevin, her husband, is beside himself, as are my sister and brother-in-law. And Blakey (their 4-year-old son) is thrilled.
Little one is due sometime in December or January. My daddy already predicted that it's a girl.
How strange would it be to have a new baby in December, the month we lost the first-born grandchild...
Oh, burying the lede here -- doctors think she might be carrying multiples.

Monday, May 21, 2007

They finished

It was awesome. Everyone finished the North Trails Half Marathon, lots of IT band injuries, though. Not sure what that is about, but Shannon, Jenny and Deb limped their way to their own personal victories.
We cheered at mile six, gave out Jell-o shots (with Gatorade to the runners) and we did a few, um, adult shots of our own while we waited ; ) did karaoke and just pumped out some loud music from our station.
Congrats to everyone, especially Deb, whose knee started giving her hell at mile two, but she finished for Kelly's son, Ethan, in remission.
Heroes all.
Here's some photos of the day. A very long, wonderful day Sunday in Dallas, partly cloudy and about 75 degrees for the race.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

My hero

Two years ago today, Sarah was told she had breast cancer. Stage 2, aggressive.
Saying it was the worst day of my life is an understatement to what she went through, as well as her family and friends.
Chemo. Surgery. Radiation. In that order. Awful.
She's a fighter, no doubt. The doctors told her that had she not been in such good shape from years of running, she'd likely have had a different outcome.
Since that dark day, her sister and her dad can also say they are survivors as well. Too much for one family, but cancer does that.
Needless to say, it's been a rough few years, eh?
I thank God and Mother Mary for her strength and faith. Family and friends, too. Sarah has will like no other, one in many wonderfully brilliant traits she posseses. And I think that helped save her.
So today, Sarah's got her toes in the sand at Galveston Beach. She's with her posse of great pals -- our great pals -- and I'm wishing I was there, in the middle of it all, running barefoot on the beach, sipping cocktails with Sarah, Brenda, Deb, Melissa, Lafontaine and Sheila, too, can't forget her! We'd be having a bonfire on the beach and Lafontaine and I would be playing guitars.
Next year and always. Promise.
Sarah, come back tanned, rested and ready to go. We'll run the San Diego Marathon in 15 days!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cheers to North Trails

Tonight we toasted our teammates who will run the North Trails Half Marathon in Dallas this Sunday.

It was supposed to be my TNT event until I was persuaded at the Austin Half Marathon by my mentor Maria and MotownRunnerGirl (other, unofficial mentor) that I should just do a full marathon. So I switched.

So Wednesday night run... We went to our usual New York Pizza and Pasta. Lots of us tonight! I had a slice of pizza, salad, a Shiner Bock and a piece of chocolate cake that Jennifer made to help celebrate.
Our captain, Laura, gave the North Trails runners these inspirational cards that had a safety pin with seven colored rings attached. The card talked a little about the journey for the runner and explained what each color on the pin meant.
They are really kind of cool. I can't wait until I get mine in a few weeks.
Ha! In a few weeks .... It seems really amazing to think of it now as just a few weeks away.
Well, first things first. Congrats and good luck to everyone I trained with in preparation for North Trails and San Diego! A shoutout to the girls I started with: Shannon, Cindy, Deb, Kelly, Maria and Brandy.
I'll do my 10 miles on Saturday and I'll be cheering and doing karaoke at mile six with Jennifer, Kim, Laura and Terry on Sunday for you guys.
Go Team!

P.S. The ankle is better. Four miles tonight, nothing hurts really bad, just a little sore.
Eighteen (18) days until SD.

Monday, May 14, 2007


It comes in different forms. Sometimes it's words. Other times the actions that people take.
I like it when it's the people.
Here's someone inspiring. His name is Ethan, and he's 8. Five years in remission.
He's one of the heroes of the DFW Metro Running Team. Our hero.
His mom and fellow TNT member, Kelly, does her half marathon on Sunday, in his honor.
We'll celebrate her and others on their event Wednesday night after our run.
Good luck and Go Team!

Saturday, May 12, 2007


On the trail at the half-mile mark.
I saw it as I was about to step in it, but it was too late. I thought to myself shit, I'm gonna go down.
So down I went, in slow motion, and rolled over the right ankle.
Puncture on left palm. Slightly skinned and bruised inside of the right elbow. Bruised the ankle.

I can't even type the words I said in that very moment, half a mile into a 20-mile run.
Wouldn't take the shoe off, either. I knew it would blow right up if I did.
I have to say thanks to Sarah, who ran with me and just kept saying to shake it off and that everything would be OK. That nudge really helped.
I was so pissed off that I just ran. I knew I just had to go. Finish.
I didn't feel any pain so I kept up the 4-1 intervals.
After I got my groove back, it didn't seem too bad.
I did my 20 miles in 4:45 and I feel great.
This will not stop me.

Going to spend lots of time in ice baths for this foot. The good news is that the knee problem did not surface. Yeay!
Only 22 more days.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Dress rehearsal

It's nearly curtain call.
Twenty miles Saturday.
Coach Neil said to act like it was marathon day. Wear, eat and drink the same things as if it was. That way we'd know if something isn't going to work and we can adjust.
So tonight I had a little pasta with marinara sauce and a naked meatball on the side with Italian bread and water.
I have a mixture of shot bloks, gu and gel to carry on the belt for the run. Also taking some Gatorade Fierce grape, blue Powerade and two waters.
Shorts. Socks. I know exactly which foundation garment to wear.
The iPod.
Raisin bagel and banana in the morning. Sugar free Red Bull.
Eric said that after the 20, there's just six more. Funny.
I'm nervous. I've got my freak on about this, but I have everything together.
I will finish it, take a nap and then go to work (election night).

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


OK. So I am being good.
I am not drinking.
It's sleep, nutrition, running and resting when I am supposed to.
I have the 20-miler this Saturday -- longest run ever -- so I am being good because I have to.
As I was running the other day, this song on my iPod gave me some inspiration:
...I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never going to keep me down I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never going to keep me down...
It also made me think of something I'm missing.

...He drinks a whisky drink
He drinks a vodka drink
He drinks a lager drink
He drinks a cider drink...

So yeah. I am being good.

Remembering how nice it was to have a whisky drink, a vodka drink, a lager drink and a cider drink.
Especially, how nice it was to have a bloody Mary morning on the weekends.
Sigh. Only 25 more days.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Remembering mom

My mother passed away at 11 a.m. May 4, 1991. She was 69.
That was 16 years ago today.
Sometimes it still feels like yesterday.
I remember the day. It was a Saturday.
My sister called and told me the news.
I had seen my mom the week before in San Antonio. She was already very ill, but awake.
I had taken Sarah to meet my parents and wish them a happy 45th anniversary. We still had hope that mom would be with us and with daddy longer.

She slipped into a coma before we got to the hospital. Sarah never got to meet her.
I had to return to work, it was a long week. So when that dreadful Saturday arrived, and I spoke to my sister, I couldn't get her words out of my mind.
I had asked who was with mom when she passed. "She was alone," my sister said.
You see, everyone was on their way to the hospital. They didn't make it in time, and she just couldn't wait anymore.
She was as strong as she could be and held on for as long as she could with the diabetes that took her sight and slowly ravaged her body.
I sometimes think she held on just for us. She was always proud of each year she celebrated with my daddy and fondly spoke of their first date, which was on Dec. 7, 1941.
I am grateful they saw 45 together.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

30 days

I got this paper sack filled with words of wisdom from the captains and mentors from TnT on the day of our first long run.
It was April 14, the morning after the second week that North Texas was under thunderstorm and tornado warnings. Cold doesn't even describe that morning.
I didn't open it because I knew that there would come a time when I would need it more than I did the day I did my 15 and a half.
I needed it this morning when I awoke at 4:45 wondering wtf I was thinking when I signed up to do 26.2.
The bag that went from the back of Sarah's car to the back of my Jeep to the coffee table to the kitchen table and then back to the counter over the course of about a month was now in my hands.

I gave it a shake. Then I opened it and took out a lavender piece.
A run begins the moment you forget you are running. Adidas.
Six months ago I would have laughed at reading that statement. I have discovered that it's true.
Then the obsession continued.
I worry about my knee.
I worry about not raising the money, although it's paid for, but I still have to try harder.
I started to empty the bag.
Lots of blocks with words. I love words, I make my living this way, so they mean something.
Its funny, I have been thinking a lot about high school and when I ran track in my sophomore year. I wasn't lightning fast, I was kind of slow, so my newly graduated-from-college-(Texas Aggie)-coach didn't care for that too much. She just wanted to win.
I just wanted to finish the season.
She wanted me to quit.
I stayed.
We both hated it, but neither of us blinked.
Needless to say I have never forgotten her, nor will I ever...

So the next piece of advice I pulled from the pile seemed very appropriate as I thought of that year so long ago:
Only one person and one person only will determine how good of a runner you become ... You will become as good as you let yourself be. That one person is you.
Thanks to Laura and Maria and Coach Neil for the goodie bag. The words will keep me up and motivated for the next 30 days.
Much love and thanks to Sarah, approaching her two-year anniversary as a breast cancer survivor. She is going to San Diego and will run this marathon with me. You are my hero.
Thanks to Sammy, who weaves in and out of this blog. You are my brother.
I can't forget MotownRunnerGirl, whose inspiration started me on this journey back in October over drinks in some bar in D.C. Thanks, too, to Margarita's blog groupies, TnTers and others, who make me laugh everytime they stop in (even when you are dissing my Spurs).
Gracias to all of you. Just don't get sick of the countdown, which begins today.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Go Spurs Go!

They meet the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 tonight, in the Alamo City.
I'm keeping the faith.