I'm For Bikes!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Accountability 101

My sister and I finished another 5K on Saturday (see previous post) and had an interesting conversation. She has REALLY been rocking her workouts, checking in at Freedom Fitness every day - and it has really paid off for her. She kicked butt at the 5K - I think she finished 10 minutes or so before I did - and probably could have done it even faster had it not been so dang hot. Anyway, I said something about her check-ins at the gym...there may or may not have been some teasing involved...and she said it was more for the accountability than anything. She said it's not that she thinks anyone cares so much about whether or not she did her workout (although I beg to differ - she's got great friends and TONS of support for her efforts), but it helps her be more motivated to get there and get it done. She sure has inspired me!

I used to do that. It worked. So - I'm going to try it again. Here we go.

Dog walk with Riley

Admittedly, not much of a walk. It was 91F at 8:15pm when we left, and poor Riley isn't used to being out in that heat. I usually walk her for a mile then drop her off at home and go another 1.5 miles or so, but I was having trouble with my left foot so I decided to stop. It's feeling better today so I should be able to get my usual walk in tonight.

Elliptical workout - gym

Not much to see here. My HRM got wonky and decided not to work, but that's okay. I'm just happy I followed through with my plan and got up at 4 to get to the gym nice and early. Of course, getting up at 4 is easier when you have a 40lb bouncy black tripawd puppy jumping on your bladder. (Thank you, Forrest!).

This puppy. On me. EVERY morning.

I do have other motivation aside from health and general well-being. I have THIS coming up:

I've been reading a lot of zombie books to prepare for this, and it seems I will need to be able to run so I don't get eaten. Good to know!  This will also be my first official trail run.

More later!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

CASA Superhero 5K Race Report

My sister and I ran/walked the CASA Superhero 5K today. What is CASA? Check it out:

The Mission of CASA of Hidalgo County, Inc. is to speak for the best interests of the children in the courts by promoting and supporting quality volunteer representation to provide each child a safe, permanent and nurturing home.

In their role as the child’s advocate, volunteers make contact with family members, medical personnel, witnesses, district attorneys, attorney ad litems, guardian ad litems, law enforcement personnel and any others who have had involvement in the child’s case. The volunteers will then make a recommendation to the judge as to how to meet the child’s best interest. Additionally, the volunteers advocate for and monitor the children in the foster homes or temporary relative home placements.It is the goal of CASA of Hidalgo County, Inc. to ensure that every child in Hidalgo County who needs a child advocate has one. CASA Volunteers make lasting impressions on the lives of abused and neglected children, and positively impact the judicial and child welfare systems.   

Yeah, I'd say that's a pretty good cause.

Once again, it was hot. Dang hot. I took this shot at 7:38 a.m., just before we left for the race:

Ugh. Another scorcher. Good thing I decided to take my GoLite HydroClutch with my CamelBak Podium Chill insulated water bottle full of ice-cold water!

Okay, I forgot the water bottle - but I did remember the bug spray!  :-/


I knew my sis would go a lot faster than me so I told her to just do her thang and not worry about waiting for me. We had the option of dressing up as superheroes, but decided not to because of the heat. Others chose to go ahead with costumes, which was goofy but kinds cool. I found myself wishing I'd at least worn a cape...

We did our usual before-race pics, even finding a superhero to pose with:

Poor guy....he was sweltering in that costume. The kids loved it though. Okay, yeah - we did, too.

As we were waiting, I took some random shots of the other participants. It seemed like a good turnout, so I hope CASA was able to make some good money. Anything for the kids, right?

I noticed my shadow and took a shot - sure wish my legs were really that long and skinny!
We walked over to the start line sign:


The race was held at Edinburg Municipal Park, which is a neat new-ish community park. It's cool, but one thing I don't understand is why...WHY they would place cactus so close to a trail where people are walking their dogs, running, walking, and cycling:

Yeah. That's gonna leave a mark.
There were fun, supportive people along the route cheering us on:

Some nice scenery:

A few wild animals:

Even the trees were supportive!
I did a bit of running this time, more than I've done before. My time still wasn't great - 54 minutes - but it was just so dang hot. My left leg started cramping so I decided not to tempt fate. There were two water stations set up. I grabbed a drink at the first one, but they were out of cups by the time I got to the second one (about 1.5 miles in). Not good. I was REALLY wishing I hadn't forgotten my water bottle right about then.

I got to the finish and my sister, who got done way before me, was there to cheer me on. One of these days I'm REALLY going to have to finish ahead of her so I can get a shot of her at the finish line! I was pleasantly surprised to get a finisher's medal:

See how excited I am?

Yay! Done!

Way to go, Sis!
My bib & medal collection is growing:

Overall, it was a good race for a good cause. Next up is the Color Me Loco 5K on September 7th, which looks to be a lot of fun.

Monday, July 29, 2013

No. Just....NO.

This week's weather

Are you freaking KIDDING me????

And naturally - the house AC decided to go out last night. I went upstairs to do something (I forget what) and it was 81F up there.

Luckily, since this tends to happen at least once a summer, there are window units downstairs and in the bedroom. Still, it's DANG HOT.


In other, BETTER news, blog buddy Mandy (Caratunk Girl) completed Ironman Lake Placid last night with a time of 15:21:20!! I was stalking her online and got to see her cross the finish line - so cool!!

I stole this pic from her Facebook page:

How can she be smiling like that after the swim and bike, getting ready to run a marathon??? She must be insane...  ;-)

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I am simply in AWE of people who do these endurance races. I'm lucky to get through a 5K - WALKING - and these folks are doing 140.6 miles and living to tell about it. Just incredible.

Anyway, CONGRATS to Ironman Mandy!!! You did it - AGAIN!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Freedom Run 5K Race Report

Before the race

Yes, a few days weeks late. I know. I've been busy!


So, my sister and I are doing our 5K-a-month plan again, and the Freedom Run was our July event. It benefitted the American Legion, so the race fee went to a great cause. Anything to help our veterans!

We left early because the race was in Los Fresnos, which is about an hour away. After getting a wee bit lost, we finally figured out where the heck we were and got to the venue just fine. The people at registration were friendly and helpful, but we were disappointed to find that there were no more shirts left.

Now, here's the thing about shirts. My sister and I don't do these races to win trophies or prizes. We love the ones where we get finisher medals, but lack of those isn't necessarily a deal-breaker. What we REALLY like are the t-shirts, which are generally offered to the first 100-300 registrants. This race advertised guaranteed shirts to the first 300 entrants. Well, my sis was 89 and I was 118 - YOU do the math!

Anyway, we were promised shirts (which we still haven't received), given our little race packets and bib numbers, and off we went.

This is where things started going downhill for me. I hadn't had a chance to...er...take care of business before leaving the house, so yeah - REALLY had to go. We were at a little county park that had one of those little cinderblock restroom buildings with two stalls, no porta-potties in sight. Hmmm. My sister decided to go put her goodie bag in her truck, so I had her take mine as well so I could go stand in line.

So...this was a relatively small race, but there were a LOT of women in the restroom line. Things were reaching a crisis point for me. I had no choice but to wait. THEN, the dreaded words: "Does anyone have any toilet paper??"  !!!!!!!


Holy cats! I went into some kind of fugue state of restroom panic. What the heck?? Sure, we were surrounded by trees, brush, and trails...but was I really that desperate? I started walking toward my sister's truck in the parking lot - not sure why, it's not like she carries a porta-potty around with her - and she must have seen the pained look on my face as she approached me.

"There's no paper," said I, nearly breathless with panic.

"I think I have some of those blue paper towels in the truck," she said, and my panic released.

SO - I go get the paper towel, stuff it in my pocket (because no WAY am I sharing!!), and get back in line. I tried really hard not to wonder what the other women were doing for toilet paper.

I finally got to a stall, and it happened. The one thing I was dreading.

Yup. STAGE FRIGHT. I just sat there, yelling silently at my bowels, wondering how on earth I was going to get through the 5K without...well...you know. I guess knowing there were about 10 other women waiting in line did me in. Sighing, I left the restroom in defeat.

I walked outside and reached into my pocket for my bib number. It was gone. DANG IT!!! I was worried maybe someone found it and used it as toilet paper. Maybe I had entered another fugue state and used it as toilet paper...

I walked over to the registration table to let them know I had lost it and miraculously heard my name being called - some kind person had found my bib and turned it in. YAY!

Okay, so time for the race to start. Since we know we're not going to go fast at the beginning, we always stay in the back out of courtesy to the faster folks and so we won't get killed in the rush. The course was a pretty simple out and back deal, which kind of sucked because I got REALLY jealous of the people who passed me, already on their way back while I was not even halfway done. Yeah, yeah - my own damn fault, but still! It's annoying...

Here's the thing. It was HOT. The race started a bit late, close to 9am. It was humid. It was in the mid 90s by the time we finished. I drank LOTS of water, and found myself wishing I had brought my handheld water bottle thingy. Luckily, my bowel issue went away and didn't bother me at all during the race, but I was still so dang hot. I did try to run a few times, but I've not trained for that and could feel myself about to overheat so I stopped before it was too late.

My sister walks FAST!! I stuck with her for a while, but I just couldn't keep up. My legs are always tight during the first mile or so, no matter how much I stretch beforehand. I'm not sure why that is, but I've always been like that. After the first mile I start feeling pretty good and can move a little faster, but by then my sis has usually left me in the dust. Something I need to work on, I guess.

I got to the halfway point and turned around, pleased to see there were still several people behind me. Mind you, I was walking, not running. Running isn't in the cards yet, but I'm working on it. Anyway, I was so hot by this point that all I could think about was getting to the finish line. I got to a water station, grabbed two cups of water, and poured one of them over my head, which helped a little. I noticed a large group in front of me had stopped and one of their members was sitting on the ground. I held onto my water cup to offer her some, but she was up and moving by the time I got there so I figured she was okay. A short while later, the group stopped again and I passed them, and soon after that an ambulance drove past to pick her up. I guess the heat got to her :-(

I finally got to the finish line and was handed my finisher's medal. My sis was waiting for me and snapped this goofy pic:

Yeah. I was happy to be finished.

It was good to get into the air-conditioned truck and head home to shower, that's for sure!

Next race: the CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) 5K on August 10th. I'm trying to get more training in this time around, but these graduate school classes are kicking my BUTT.

Special shout-out to my blog buddy Mandy Farrar who is racing Ironman Lake Placid today. GO MANDY!!!! Bib #713!!! As someone who can barely get through a 5K - WALKING - I am in complete awe of people like Mandy (and others whose blogs I follow) who can not only train for these races, but actually COMPETE in them!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Trying To Remain Ert...

In one of my favorite scenes from "Private Benjamin", Sgt. Ross (Hal Williams) is giving the recruits instructions about their upcoming war exercise. At one point, he says "Beware... there are mine fields out there. Most of them are inert. However, some of them are ert."

I'm tired of being inert. It's time to be ert again. (Yes, I know it's not a real word. That's what makes it so funny, see?)

This silly line never fails to crack me up. No, really. I'm laughing about it right now!

So...I have severely neglected this blog. Again. And again. And...well, you get the point. I have also neglected any kind of training whatsoever, at least on a consistent basis. Again. No surprise there.

I haven't been completely inert, though. I've participated in races - most recently, Hog Dash3, which is one of those muddy, dirty obstacle course deals. It was a 7K and it took me about 3 hours to finish, but it was FUN!! I did all but the 2nd-last obstacle, a 14 ft. wall called "The Beast". I wanted to do it but I knew I was done in, so I skipped it. I'll get it next year.

This is the obstacle called The Beast. One of the coolest pics EVER. No, I didn't take it.
My team and I had a blast. We were gloriously covered in mud, cuts, scrapes, and bruises, but we FINISHED! Here's a little before-and-after collage I made of me and Sig (who, by the way, DID conquer The Beast. Yes, she's a rock star):

Anyway, back to being ert. I started graduate school in January (Masters degree) and have been pretty inert since then, training-wise. I'm still taking classes (on a short break just now having finished 2 classes recently). My sister and I decided in January to try and complete at least 365 miles of training this year and I'm woefully behind.

July 1st was the day. Perfect. First day of the month, it was a Monday, and I had just finished my grad classes for the first summer session. It is now July 3rd, and I'm happy to day that yes, I did get up and move yesterday as well - in spite of having spent all morning sitting through jury duty at the federal courthouse (not picked yet - have to return July 29th).

No more being inert. I am suffering for it, for sure. I don't like this.

I'm going to hold myself accountable again and post here more often - every day if I can, even if it's just a record of the day's training. My sis and I are resuming our 1 5K per month goal too, so I'll put up some race reports. In fact, I think I'll do one for Hog Dash in a bit here. It really was a lot of fun.

So, here are my numbers from July 1 & 2:

Monday, July 1
2.68 miles in 00:58:30
calories burned: 353

Tuesday, July 2
2.71 miles in 01:07:51
calories burned: 409

I've been doing the first mile with Riley pup, because she needs to lose weight. I do, too, so it works out beautifully. She will eventually do the whole route with me, but not just yet. Here's a pic of Riley on last night's jaunt:

So there you have it.

Here's to being ert.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I Finally Did It!

Well, I'm not 28....

And I don't drink....

But I AM a graduate student now!

Yup, it's official - I started class Monday, taking two courses.

Master's Degree in Educational Administration, here I come!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Resolution 5K Race Report

My sister and I have decided to get back on the horse and resume our "One 5K Per Month" Challenge, so we started off the year with a bang by doing the Resolution Run 5K again this year.

What fun! It was quite chilly (43*, which for us South Texas folk is the heart of winter) but we had our winter-ish gear on so it wasn't too bad.

Last year we did the 2 mile fun walk, but this year we did the whole 5K. Our plan is to RUN the thing next year. We finished with a time of 54 minutes, which is pretty good considering it usually takes us 25-30 minutes to finish a mile. I really need to keep track of our finishing times from now on...

Here are some pics from the day: 

All bundled up - don't see that very often!

LOVE this sign! Made me think of my Forrest pup!

We stepped onto the course after everyone was finished to get our finish line pics

My sis!

Toasting our success with the Resolution Run champagne flutes

This is just so wrong....but SO funny!

Way to go, Chris!

The last photo - this guy's name is Chris. I don't know him, but he inspired me nonetheless. He walked the entire course then ran the last bit to the finish line. I don't know his story, but I am so proud of him for getting out and doing this 5K. Like they say - every journey begins with that first step. Chris, good luck on your journey - you are not alone!

My blog buddy, the amazing KC of "the original" 140 Point 6 Miles...Of Awesome! commented on my Facebook that I should do a 5K a day now...only fair, since I kinda bailed on her "Get Off Your Booty" December mile-a-day challenge. I did great up until Dec. 24th, then EPIC FAIL! I'm not sure about the 5K a day part...but I'll do my best to get out there and keep movin'!

Happy New Year, all!