Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lingering Effects

So, I've been out of my boot for about a month and a half now.  I jumped on my bike immediately after the doctor gave me the go-ahead.  Four days after I was freed, I did a 10-mile ride at the Tour de Goatneck in 45 minutes.  And, at the end of August, I did the 25-mile ride at the Hotter 'N Hell 100 in about 2 hours.  Not bad.  

Cycling season is now at a close and running season has begun, so it's time to start thinking about races.  The most I've been able to run so far is 4 miles, and rather slowly.  The impact of foot to pavement is hell on my healing ankle, my calves and my shins.  My body feels like that of a new runner, and everything from the knee down hurts all the time.  I had ambitions of doing the DRC Half in November, but judging from my performance so far, I think it will be smarter to do mostly short races until the Austin Half in February.  That's my goal race for the season.

However, I do have several short races lined up:
Oktoberfest 5K - Sept
Santa Fe 5K (maybe) - Oct
Rockledge Rumble 15K - Nov
Fired Up 5K - Nov
Turkey Trot 8 Mile - Nov
White Rock Marathon Relay (5 mile anchor leg) - Dec
Houston Marathon 5K - Jan
Too Cold To Hold 15K - Jan
Will Run For Chocolate 15K - Feb
Austin Half Marathon - Feb
Hogeye Half Marathon (maybe) - April

I think I may need to find a 10K somewhere in October, but it's already a busy season.  And, hopefully this year I'll be able to run all my races instead of a few here and there in-between injuries!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I run half marathons. I'm lazy like that.

I was drafting this blog shortly after I finished my first half marathon in May, but between getting married and breaking bones, I forgot to post it. Enjoy!

White Rock Lake Centennial Half Marathon - May 2011

I DID IT! I finished my very first half marathon. I'm not gonna lie, it was hard. However, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Probably because I was properly trained, and I've done several relatively long races (15K and 20K).

I've been trying to complete my first half marathon since December. I was signed up for the Rock 'N Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon, but I tweaked my achilles after a half marathon relay in November and was unable to run in Vegas. I did, however, get my $150 shirt that comes with registering for a Rock 'N Roll race. One of these days I have to do that race. It runs you right down the Las Vegas Strip!

In January, I decided my achilles was healed and it was time to start training for a half again. I am a member of DRC, so I joined their spring training program. My very good friend TE is a pace leader for DRC, so the thought of running with her and then having breakfast at Barbec's every morning sounded good to me! I ran the Frigid 5K in January so we could accurately gauge my pace (I PR'd!). But, I was only able to run with them for about 2 weeks before my achilles starting acting up again. Dammit! I took a month off from running altogether to let it heal a little more. I started running again about mid-February because I'd signed up for the brutal Catalina Marathon 10K in March. Yeah, I know it was just a 10K but it was really hard!

Frigid 5K - January 2011

By mid-March the achilles had settled down considerably, and I was able to put in some major miles. I had to train on my own from that point forward because I'd missed out on so much during the 2 months I hadn't been training with DRC, which was ok. I like running alone. It clears the mind, and I don't have to keep pace with anyone or chat. I like running with people too, but when the miles start getting longer it's easier for me to focus if I'm alone.

DG signed up for the Hogeye Marathon in April, so I got a team together for the marathon relay. I needed the miles for my training anyway. TE and I and two old college pals from Fayetteville teamed up. TE and I were the 3rd and 4th legs, which sounded like a good idea at the time. I chose the anchor leg because it had the most mileage (~8 miles). However, I didn't begin my leg until about noon. Dude, it was hot. It was hot and windy and hilly and it sucked. It really did. About mile 5 I came to a water stop and one of the ladies handing out snacks and whatnot said to me, "Honey, I've got peanut butter crackers, gummi bears or a cold PBR. What would you like?" The ice cold beer, duh! It was delicious and just what I needed. Although, something can be said for PB crackers and gummi bears. I love them all! Only 3 miles to go, no problem. Well, until I saw the last 1/4 mile or so that was a near-vertical ascent to the finish. Oh wait, it's not the finish yet, you have to run around the town square first. I have photos of me running up this hill and they aren't pretty. I look homicidal, so I won't post them here. But, here's a very nice photo of TE and I with our medals! I look much happier!

Hogeye Marathon Relay - April 2011

With the Hogeye behind me, it was time to focus on the half...The White Rock Lake Centennial Half Marathon. I rocked its face off! Well, I finished it and I wasn't last. That, my friends, is how I measure success when it comes to running.

A little past the first mile, I saw Plain Jane Dough and her Blueberry cheering and heaving a sign that read "On-On MJ!" Yay! Thanks, guys! In hindsight, Plain Jane and I have thought of an even better, more fitting sign for my next race. Anyway, I spotted DG and my cheering entourage of beer and GU at mile 4, and I was still feeling good. Bumper passed me a beer and I hung around for about 30 seconds. I had to hand DG my MP3 player because it shorted out from my sweat. Oops. Oh well...onward! I kept well-hydrated and GU'd up every few miles. Everything felt good until mile 11. Then, the dreaded wall. UGH. The temperature was rising and I was nearing the 2:30 mark. I had a goal of finishing in 3 hours and I'd really have to pick it up if I was going to make it.

I spotted the cheering entourage about mile 12.5 and apparently I was in no mood to chat. I vaguely remember saying anything, and I don't really remember if I grabbed a beer or not. I'm sure I did. But, I was in the zone, and I knew I couldn't stop. If I would've stopped, I might not have gotten started again.

I crossed the finish line at 3:13:21. Not a terrible time for a first-time half marathoner that only started running seriously in the last year or so. I believe a major factor of me not being able to meet my goal time was the temperature. It was hot. We took some pics at the finish and headed up the hill to pizza and beer.

DG and I at the finish

DG had the greatest t-shirt made for me as a gift for finishing my first half. It says "I run half marathons. I'm lazy like that." He really is my biggest fan.

UPDATE: Since I have a broken ankle, I probably won't be running any races until late in the Fall season. I'm signed up for a couple trail runs in October and November, but I may be walking those! We'll see. However, I got a new bike and have only put 30 miles on it, so that will be my primary training as soon as I get out of this boot...3 more weeks! I really, really can't wait.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Patience is not one of my virtues. Also, I am a very poor patient. These character flaws have really pounded me into the ground lately. As you all are probably aware, I broke my ankle three days before my wedding in Vegas (see previous post). Unaffectionately named Kankle the Ankle because of the size it swelled to during the first week of injury (when we thought it was just sprain...walk it off!). Luckily, the tendon is intact (I have no idea how), and the bone that snapped is small and should heal quickly. Of course, 'quickly' is relative in my case. Quickly, to me, means a week-to-10 days, max. Even that length of time is pushing it. No, it means weeks or months. Months. Mind you, I've never broken a bone in my 31 years until now. I hate it. HATE. IT.

I hate many things about it, but most of all I hate: the looks of pity as a crutch down the hall to the bathroom at work, the looks of pity as I get on the elevator, the looks of pity as I hobble through the parking lot, the looks of pity as I get out of the car and hop around until I can get my crutches situated, the looks of pity while I'm standing on the sidewalk waiting for my husband to bring the car around (which I appreciate, of course), the looks of pity when I'm trying to find a place to put my crutches in a restaurant so they're not in the way of other patrons. I swear to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I will never look at a disabled or handicapped person ever again with pity in my eyes. They're doing the best they can, and the last thing they need is for me to feel sorry for them. They don't want my pity, but I will gladly open the door for them.

I've also noticed how completely dismissive the general public is to the disabled/handicapped. I've witnessed this for myself. People are assholes. I'm not permanently disabled and for that I'm truly thankful, but I'm getting a very small taste of what they go through daily. The smallest tasks are a huge effort.

We went to the movies on Sunday after brunch (in West Village, so the douchebaggery was already high), and the number of times I had to ask people to move aside so I could get around them to get into the theater or to the bathroom was astounding. These people are just standing around, chatting. That's fine and all, but get the hell out of the way when you see someone with crutches coming your way. Yes, I made eye contact with them, they saw me coming and just stood there. Chatting. My favorite part of this little outing was when we were all situated in the theater (I'm at the end of the row because I shouldn't really be climbing over people.), the previews were running and I'm finally able to relax...almost. I hear, "Excuse me, can we squeeze in here?" I looked up and see three people standing there staring at me like The Stepford Wives. Smiling, but emotionless. I was astonished by their bravado. Seriously? Can't you see my crutches that are blocking the entrance to this aisle? Can't you see my giant boot? Can't you see the fire in my eyes?! Sigh. I got up, ever so slowly, picked up my crutches and moved around so they could sit in the three empty seats in our row. Then, the topper was when she said, "Wow, it must be hard to get around, huh?" I wanted to shank her in the throat with my crutch. I guess they missed the three rows in front of us that were completely empty. These are the kind of people that put their daughters in beauty pageants and would secretly give them Botox at age 9.

Another thing I hate about is my inability to exercise. I'm not a naturally thin person and I need to work out to keep myself relatively fit. I like mexican food and beer and french onion dip. Man, if there were a heaven, I'm pretty sure they'd serve french onion dip with every meal, which would be mexican food. Anyway, I run/bike at least 3 times per week, more if I'm in training. I haven't done any sort of exercise in nearly a month. It's miserable. My body is revolting, and it demands I do something. Yeah, well, shut up, body. I can't help you right now and Kankle says he can't, he's too sick. Wuss. Why don't you grow a pair and man up, Kankle?! Heal faster, you weak little bastard!

However, through all my bitching, moaning, whining and tears my husband has been such a trooper. I hope I haven't abused him too much. Like I said, I'm not a good patient and I don't like people doing things for me. I can do it by myself! But, when I can't carry my own glass of water to bed because I only have two hands and they're both busy holding me stable to my crutches, it's nice to have someone around willing and able to give you a hand. Hell, he's legally required to now. Sucker!

I go back to the ortho in a week. For the love of sanity and a long marriage, I hope to least get rid of these crutches. Of course, I want to be fully-healed, but I'll take being able to get my own glass of water.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Our Fabulous Las Vegas Wedding

Instead of "I do" he said "Absolutely." And, we said it at the Paris Hotel in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada! 58 of our closest friends and family came to see us exchange vows, while getting into some trouble, having many drinks, and seeing me break my ankle while gracelessly falling from the mechanical bull. I didn't know it was broken until I got home and decided to go to the doctor for an x-ray. Oops. Whatever, I rocked that bull...sort of. Here are few highlights of an unforgettable week. Thank you to all that came out to see us!

It's martini time!

Getting ready to go to the Sin City H3 White Dress Run!

Before the White Dress Run and right before the bull broke my ankle. Yes, I didn't break my ankle the bull did!

I looked good until I fell off. Luckily, no one has any pics of me falling...I hope.

You'll notice that I'm not in this photo. I'm back at the bar with ice on my ankle. Thanks to Karen, Chihuahua and Holly, I was well-entertained!

Karen and I entertained ourselves one day by shooting very awesome machine guns at zombie targets. We were giddy for a while!

Some of my downtown entourage. I wanted to hang with everyone, but couldn't keep up because of the increasing size of my ankle. Thanks, hover-round!

My hover-round train attendants. I'm still the bride even if I am broken!

There's a satin train attached to a hover-round, how could you NOT surf on it through a gift shop?!

One of my oldest, dearest friends.

My lovely matron and maid of honor.

Here I come! I hope you're ready!


As the officiant looks on disapprovingly, he couldn't help but grab my ass.

Mr. and Mrs.

We love making people gag. It's so easy!


Taking this pic was like herding cats! Most of our 58 guests.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

It's Things Like This, T-Mobile

I have been a loyal customer of T-Mobile's since 2008 when I moved to Texas from Arkansas. I know, long time right? I was referred to them through a friend who said their customer service was awesome and having dealt with Sprint for 10 years, good customer service was a refreshing change. I think their service is pretty good. I have issues with my phone occasionally, but it's good for the most part. It's good enough for me to stay with them.

However, I received a text message from T-Mobile today that said, "Texas Recovery Fee now included on monthly bill. Please visit www.tmobile.com/legal for details." I thought it was for some charity or something, but I couldn't think of a natural disaster in recent days/weeks. So, I went to the website and found a disturbing declaration:

"Starting in February 2011, Texas customers will see a new fee on their bill. Texas law imposes a franchise tax on each company conducting business in Texas, including T-Mobile. We will add a monthly charge labeled "TX Recovery Fee" on your bill to recover the cost of complying with this tax on T-Mobile. This fee is not a government mandated charge..."

What the what?! Are you friggin kidding me?! Now I have to pay your taxes? I already pay about five different taxes, including a state sales tax, for my cell phone service. Why do I have to pay yours too? I'm a corporate paralegal, I know about franchise tax and this stinks like a hog house in July!

Franchise tax is the cost of doing business, like buying pencils or post-its, or having a flushing toilet, or having that lawyer on retainer for those pesky sexual harassment issues. I'm pretty sure the pizza joint down the street isn't charging me extra for my slice because he has to pay franchise tax! (He's not, I checked.)

In some states it's a flat rate, in others it's based on the number of shares a company issues or the worth of its assets held in that state. In Texas, the lowest of these three calculations is used (or you can choose the auto-calc): total revenue minus cost of goods sold; total revenue minus compensation; or total revenue times 70%.

Not cool, T-Mobile. I know times are tough, but I'm a middle-class consumer and everyone craps on us. Unless other cell phone companies are doing the same crappy thing you are, out of principal I may just be shopping around.

Who's with me?! Solidarity!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Ever since the half marathon relay in San Antonio last November, I've been nursing an injured achilles. I pretty much stayed off of it until the beginning of January in the hopes that I could start the spring training season healthy. Yeah, not so much...

An achilles injury is one that takes weeks or months to heal properly, and even then it's not always 100%. I did heat/cold therapy, wrapped it and stayed off of it for what seemed like a very long time. I'm not the best patient, and I'm even less inclined to take care of an injury unless it hurts. If it doesn't hurt, it's fine! Right? Uh...right?

In January, I joined the DRC spring training program to help get my pace up and to run with people that were at my same fitness level. I was doing really well and even shaved 5:36 from my PR on the DRC Frigid 5K! The time received on this race was used to place you in the proper pace groups for the training program. I was so excited about the new training season! The first few training runs went great, and my pace leader even asked me if I wanted to move up to a faster group. I declined because I'd just come off the achilles injury and wanted to take it easy. Then, it happened. On a 5-mile training run I had to stop and walk the last 1.5 miles. The pulling and nagging pain of my right achilles had started again. Damn it! I was so disappointed. I tried telling myself that it was just a minor ache because my achilles has weakened from the injury and not running for almost 2 months.

I've mostly been off it for about a month. The last two weeks I've been off of it completely and only doing cardio on the elliptical...so boring. This past Saturday was my first attempt to see how it was doing. I ran very little, but walked about 5.5 miles. More than anything my calves and shins are stiff because of how little I've been running these past few months. I could tell the achilles was a little sore. Of course, some of the discomfort could've come from standing on a concrete floor the night before at the House of Blues while The Reverend Horton Heat entertained me. My feet were killing me by the time we got home, and I had on comfy shoes!

I've missed so many races because of this injury, that I'm reluctant to sign up for anything. Besides the disappointment, they're expensive! I want to run the Hogeye Half Marathon in April, but it's still a giant maybe. However, I've already registered for the White Rock Lake Centennial Half in May. Here's to hoping.

I just want to finish ONE half marathon. Is that too much to ask? I think not!