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

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Race eve

SAN DIEGO -- Sarah and I went to the Expo right after we arrived Friday and settled in.
This is the first time that I've ever really spent hours and hours at an expo. My first for White Rock, I went with two other editors before our afternoon meeting, so it was really just packet pickup and trying some awful power drinks...yuck.
For Austin, the lines were so long for packet pickup and we stood so long, MotownRunnerGirl and I really weren't into it.
This one, well, it ROCKED, no pun intended.
I was glad to see Sarah's eyes light up when we hit the San Diego Convention Center. She's been great all week with my certifiable excitement. I seriously have had a pogo stick up my ass with excitement, people. I know I am probably very irritating right now, but hey, can't help it.

I am so glad she is here with me. She promised to run with me and we have a pact that one or the other would drag the other over the finish line if we had to.
We'll finish. She says it won't be pretty, but I think the fact that we're here is more than beautiful.
It's funny and amazing that we're doing this together after years of me spectating and cheering her on. I was, um, a couch potato, an award-winning one, about eight months and 30 pounds ago : |
So here's some pics of my teammates and I from the DFW Metro Running Team who will be participating in the RNR tomorrow.

The excitement will only get worse today, I'm sure, as our pasta party is at 1 Pacific ... Lots of Go Team!

I can't forget my mentor, Maria, who couldn't make this trip. I wish she were here, but I totally understand. She's begun her training and fundraising for the Nike Women's Marathon in October. She's awesome.
Speaking of fundraising, did I mention I raised $700 over my minimum goal for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society?!
The depth of giving from my family, friends, and colleagues was and is incredible. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

P.S. You can monitor my run at My bib number is 19576 and you can see what my time was the 10K, half, 21 and finish.

Friday, June 01, 2007

The journey begins

San Diego. Finally.
I talked to my daddy last night about the marathon I’m about to run day after tomorrow.
He’s a little hard of hearing at nearly 88 and all, but he clearly heard these words after he asked me (again) how long or far I’d be running Sunday.
“It’s 26.2 miles, daddy.”
A brief silence.
“Better you than me, hee-hee-hee (he has a great laugh). Has the doctor checked your heart?” He laughed, but was serious, too. “My heart is great, daddy.”
We talked a lot about my running (in between his commenting on the Spurs game and whether they’ll play the Pistons in the finals). He told me many times how proud he was.

He even remembered that awful year in high school when I ran track and he and mom used to go see me run at my meets. I was always last, but I finished (his mantra, finish what you start).
My daddy said he’s glad that I finally got off of my butt and started exercising.
He constantly reminds me about the diabetes that is on both sides of the family and how I’m the only one who doesn’t have it. Yet.
“Check your blood sugar,” he said. “Or I’ll check it for you next time you come home.”
He will – he does, every time I go visit. It’s sweet, really.
So I’ll be doing the Rock ’N Roll Marathon in San Diego day after tomorrow. I chose that one because my parents used to live there way before I was born.
My dad Luis was – is – a Marine (once a Marine, always a Marine, he says) and he spent most of the time during World War II either on an airplane or a ship in the South Pacific and would go quite often to San Diego.
(As an aside, my father didn’t get one single scratch on him between 1942 and 1946 while in the Pacific. That is completely amazing to me, but that’s probably another blog post…)

Anyway, during the Korean War, he was stationed at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, and my mom and sisters lived there with him right outside of the base. (It’s likely my brother was conceived there…)
An earthquake strong enough to knock plates out of the cabinets and send them crashing to the floor was all my mother needed to say to daddy, “Love you lots, but I’m taking the kids and we’re going back to San Antonio.”
And back they went, by train, to Texas to wait for daddy to come back home. My mom (God rest her soul) always said she’d rather brave a tornado than an earthquake any day.
So, now I’m in San Diego, not just to run my first marathon, but to see, smell and feel what my parents loved about the only other place they said they’d ever live outside of Texas.
I also have marching orders from the Marine.
“Go to the base and take a picture of it for me. And finish your race.”
Yes sir, no problem.
Guess where the finish line is?!