Race Report: Katy Triathlon at Firethorne 2015

This past Sunday, Mark and I did our first triathlon as a couple, Katy Triathlon at Firethorne. This race only had a sprint distance course, and it seemed a lot smaller than the race I did two weeks ago, Towne Lake Tri.

This was the first race I’ve done where the start line was in the water, instead of running into the water to begin. Continue reading

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His and Hers Printable Triathlon Checklists

A couple of weekends ago, when I completed the Towne Lake Triathlon in Cypress, Texas, Mark came along to cheer me on. He’s done ten marathons since we first began dating, and as long as I wasn’t participating in another way, I cheered him on during his race. I’ve signed up for less races, but he’s always my number one fan, too.

After Towne Lake Tri, Mark seemed a little off. I was so excited to be getting over my open water fears, and had already planned on getting in two more races before the season was over in a few short weeks. When I told him my plans, he was frank: Continue reading

Back at it! Towne Lake Triathlon 2015

I’ve spoken before about what led me to triathlon, and the mistakes I made in training for my first half-iron distance race. If you read the post, you might understand why I had some reluctance to start up again.

The goal has always been the same, though: complete an Ironman before I turn 30. It seemed a lot further away when I was 22 and in the best shape of my life, but, hey. Whatever, right?

When I wrote that post, I didn’t realize that I’d be on the other side of the planet for my honeymoon to Japan and The Philippines, then recovering from it, for the entire month of April. I didn’t realize that my husband’s job would be transferring to New York City, or that I’d go through depression over the continuous life-change limbo that it created and an obsession with searching for real estate in the entire Tri-State Area before finding home in Connecticut.

I digress.

What I’m saying is, I thought I wouldn’t already done my second 70.3 by now. I haven’t. In fact, I’m still getting over my fear of open water. I had only gone one time to the lake before deciding to bite the bullet and try another tri. Enter Towne Lake Tri.

Mark heard about the race through his running coach’s client. It took place on Labor Day, and there was an Olympic distance course and a sprint. Knowing full well my open water handicap, I went for the sprint. The setting was a small man-made lake in the subdivision of Cypress (a suburb of Houston) called Towne Lake. Continue reading

Can I run a half marathon with a fever? With the flu?

These are the questions that I found myself facing Saturday and Sunday. After two days of having a sore throat I attributed to my overzealous use of a space heater, I found myself, on Saturday, a tad hung over and all the way miserable. I could barely keep my eyes open, my throat was in tremendous pain, and after weeks of wearing three pairs of socks and multiple pairs of pants just to sit around the house, I dusted off my summertime pajama shorts and was rockin’ those.

The day progressed and I just got worse. Noises seemed louder, my head hurt. How was I going to do the race the following morning?

After getting a few things ready for Mark, I, still without a firm decision as to what I was going to do the following day, was in bed before 7:30 p.m.. I slept like a rock, lemme tell ya. I had dreams of sleep, for crying out loud, but by 4 a.m., Mark was up and raring to go. I thought about the new race medal rack I just bought and little else, drank a few sips of the coffee my husband had prepared for me and found the clothes that I hadn’t set out the night before.

I warned everyone I came in contact with about my ailment, gave air hugs, and then started the race with only my nap afterward in mind. During the first mile I could feel sweat all over my face, whereas usually I sweat first elsewhere, and definitely not until after the first mile. It was fever sweats, and it was at that time I knew that I definitely wouldn’t achieve a PR that day. Despite this, I had plans to meet friends at the finish line, so I ran the entire time outside of a bathroom break (which I would usually take reluctantly) and for all the water stops.

At 2:24:49, it was undoubtedly my worst half marathon time by a lot. But, boy did I give it hell.

So, can you run  a half marathon with flu-like symptoms? Apparently, yes. SHOULD you run a marathon with flu-like symptoms? Emphatically NO.

After running half marathon sick: 2015 Aramco Houston Half medal

But I sure liked the 2015 Aramco Houston Half bling!

 Featured image by Ryan Hyde on Flickr.

What to NOT do for your first 70.3

Just like running marathons, triathlon is something that found me. After my first race, (formerly) Livestrong Austin Marathon, I knew only one other person who had completed a race of that distance and was still very alone in my new interest. At 22, that wasn’t something on my peer group’s radar.

Friends and family began to ask me, “What’s next?” and “Round 2?” right away. Continue reading

Metro PCS Dallas Marathon and Half Marathon 2014

On Saturday, we gathered with three of our closest friends and trekked from Houston to Dallas for the Metro PCS Dallas Marathon and Half Marathon. I’ve been to Dallas more than a couple of times in my life, and well, it’s Dallas. So I don’t have nearly  as much to say as I did about the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C..

But! I will say that if you’re making your way from Houston to Dallas, I highly recommend stopping off for lunch in Leona, Texas at The Pecan Grove Cafe. The teeny tiny town only has one hundred and eighty people, and we were surprised how downright delicious their only lunch restaurant turned out to be. Best dream bar of my life!

The race expo had all of the usual vendors there, and the guys couldn’t even find a hat that suited their needs. We grabbed a coupon to Luke’s Locker and drove to the one in Colleyville, where we stayed the night with our friend’s parents.

My friend’s mom made a super cute sign for the race evoking everyone’s inner Jimmy Fallon.

marathon spectator sign EW

Continue reading

Thankful.

Never am I a stranger to gratitude, but still, this past week that surrounded Thanksgiving precisely encompassed all that I am currently most thankful for.

On Monday, I spent my day creating crafts and keeping the calm with preschoolers at the local Women’s Shelter as they prepared for a special family meal with their mothers. Directly after that, I rushed to the store and then home to self-consciously make dinner for a mother of Tobias’ friend from school, a chef whom I deem a friend of mine, that recently underwent surgery. Then, I rushed back home to make dinner for my own family, though that meal stopped short at hum drum.

Tuesday, I chaperoned Tobias’ field trip to the zoo, where the children acted more bestial than anything in a cage, a boy from another group chanting to me that I’m a “fat girl” while students in mine are running aimlessly in the crowded zoo haze. All while cursing the teachers who planned a field trip when many students are out and about for the week.

On Wednesday, I visited a friend of mine for over thirteen years. She recently left her husband, and is in a similar situation as mine four years ago, except with two kids and just beginning her career, rather than one while in school. Tobias brought them some of his toys as gifts for their new apartment, but I had a hunch that they were just fine with their new minimalist lifestyle. (Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.)

We woke up extra early on Thanksgiving Thursday so that Mark, Tobias and I could all run a Turkey trot, I Pinterest-failed a baked cornucopia, threw it out, then delivered my disappointingly under-cooked pies to my mother’s house, who was hosting a Thanksgiving that included my ex mother-in-law and my new mother-in-law. Prior to our departure, Tobias and I both started feeling unwell, and I spent my entire Friday in bed–not figuratively–aside from eating a bowl of soup and using the bathroom, I kept my body in that same spot while Tobias wallowed in his own sickness and mind-numbingly watched his tablet computer.

I had a resurgence of energy after Mark brought me breakfast and coffee on Saturday, so I went to the salon to take off the terrible acrylic nails I was reluctant to have, had my nails painted, then proceeded to do yard work for hours on end. (Which would seem to most to be a terrible idea.) Today, Sunday, Mark woke me up before dawn to say goodbye, for he’s on a business trip for the good part of the week. I finished the book I began reading during my indisposition, then proceeded to flip flop between tasks all day, not getting anything done rather than deeply researching trips I’m taking four and eight months away.

Trust me, it all relates. Drum roll, please. The trite phrase you’ve been waiting for….

I’m thankful for…

Continue reading