It’s been two full weeks since my last post, and here’s why: I’ve been busy and injured. And still am, as a matter of fact.
The concussion was the first thing. That just left me feeling woozy and out of it all week. And then last week I sprained my wrist. And so for the past week I’ve avoided the computer because it sorta hurts to type.
But I had to type tonight, because my world is changing. Shifting, actually. It’s a good shift, so don’t get all worried or anything. Here’s a concise account of the shift:
1- I am starting to run again. By the time I’d reached the half marathon race day I was like a muscle-bound body builder, my body was painfully tight all the time. So after the race, I stopped running. Lately my body has started to feel bad again, this time in a very not tight way. So back to running I go… this time with a greater focus on yoga & stretching. Shift towards better fitness.
2- I’m counting calories. I know, I know, ick. But I didn’t say anything about reducing them, I just said I’m counting them. If I count them, they seem to reduce themselves naturally. I’d been doing a lot of unconscious eating while I was on hiatus. Swimsuit season is way too close now for that sort of behavior. Food journal = slap in the face with reality. Shift towards better diet.
3- My garden made a strawberry. No shit! (excuse my French, but it was WAY exciting. I wish you could have been here to see it for yourself before it went down the hatch). Here’s what it looked like before I gobbled it down:
The garden also has nice 2″ long edamame pods hanging! One of the best garden surprises, however, wasn’t in the garden at all. It was off the end of my driveway, where last fall a few late-night party goers carved a pumpkin and tossed away their seeds:
You betcha, a volunteer pumpkin patch! How cool is that.
So the shift in the garden has been towards production. And I’m very excited.
4- I’m busy at work! I have several exciting projects going on right now. I am working on the redevelopment of the Brackenridge Tract in downtown Austin – an important and controversial project in downtown Austin because of it’s size & location. Next week I’m headed down to Kingsville, TX for 3 days to begin working on a masterplan document for Texas A&M University – Kingsville campus. It’s nice to be busy, and it’s fun to be working on two really large scale, big picture projects after working several years with the harsh realities and constraints of construction document packages and overseeing projects under construction (when it seems anything can and will can go wrong).
5- I paid off a credit card. Hooray! It’s just one of two, and it was the far less scary one, but still – that’s progress. Now I can focus all my financial energies towards paying off that last card. Shift towards financial freedom.
6- I can now call myself a self-taught plumber. Last weekend I replaced a sink drain body, replaced another sink’s hot water supply line, and unclogged the kitchen sink P-trap all by my freaking self with absolutely no help from anyone. It was empowering. I will never call a plumber for a clogged drain again. Shift towards homeowner independence!
7- I’m in a really good relationship. I won’t get all ooey gooey or anything, but that’s been a really nice part of the shift – spending time with someone who always makes me laugh, has never made me cry, goes out of his way to show me I’m loved, supported & cared about – that’s a great thing. This is probably my favorite shift of them all. Shift towards really deep happiness. :)
Filed under: Austin, go green, Heath + Beauty, running | Tags: Austin half marathon photos, environmentally friendly cosmetics, environmentally friendly mascara, environmentally friendsly make-up, korres make-up, natural mascara, paraben free, paraben free cosmetics, paraben free make-up, sephora, shellac, tarte make-up
I’m trying out a new mascara. It’s by a company called Tarte. Even the packaging is eco-friendly – a recycled/recyclable aluminum tube! The last brand I tried was Korres. It’s great stuff, don’t get me wrong. But after over 6 months of use it’s time for something new. Something that costs exactly the same amount ($18). Something that has fewer ingredients (the Tarte mascara only has 16. The Korres mascara has 17 but may contain up to 9 others). Something that contains… shellac? Yeah. That word caught my eye on the list of ingredients. A little wiki-research reveals that shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug to form a cocoon. Doesn’t get more natural than that… so I ordered it up on Sephora.com. I love shopping the interweb.
In other news, more running excitement arrived in my in-box today, in the form of photographic evidence of my completion of the Austin Half (HALF, mother – I did not, repeat: did NOT run a FULL marathon!). They weren’t totally awful, so I’ll share a few with you that I snagged from the interweb. Full event photos are on ASI’s webpage.
Filed under: Austin, events, Heath + Beauty, personal, running | Tags: 2009 austin half marathon, 2009 austin marathon, 2009 Austin Marathon and half marathon, austin running, half marathon, running
2 Flat. That was the name given to my new iPod shuffle on Saturday night (a most perfect Valentine’s gift from Tyler!). It was a bit ambitious, considering some training snafu’s in the week prior to the race. But it seemed fitting, and truth be told – that shuffle carried me much closer to my 2:00:00 finishing goal than I ever thought possible.
Yesterday is a day I won’t forget for a long time. The prep for this race started way back in December when I started adding distance to my usual 3 mile runs. I officially registered for the race in late January. On Friday I got my first peek into the excitement of the marathon at Palmer Auditorium, where they were holding the race packet pick-up and marathon expo. Saturday was a day of personal preparation: readying my race-day gear, having a carb-a-licious pasta dinner, parting my hair into pigtails to save time in the pre-dawn morning. I read the race program from front to back. I reviewed the parking information, the course map, the race day schedule. I was as ready as I’d ever be.
5:15 am came faster than I would have liked. A banana with peanut butter and a piece of bread were first on the to-do list, followed by brewing coffee and getting my gear on. Tyler helped me wire up my new ipod to my new Adidas running skirt and we packed his bookbag with post-race necessities. It was 55 degrees and cloudy, perfect running weather.
The scene downtown was energetic, even in the darkness of morning. I wasn’t nervous as much as I was anxious. When the race start was delayed 15 minutes I was really annoyed. But as soon as we got moving, everything was just fine. Tyler had advised me to go as slow as I could in the first few miles. This proved to be invaluable advice in the end. Listening to my shuffle helped take me out of my normal competitive mode and focus on how my body felt.
The first few miles were uphill, but slow and easy. My heartbeat and breathing were very calm in these first miles. Even at mile 5 I felt really fresh. By mile 6 I could feel blisters budding on my arches and a familiar tightness in my right hip. At mile 8 we started hitting the worst of the hills. By mile 9 or 10 I felt the first hint of fatigue in my legs, and a painful tightness in my calves. Mile 11 brought more intense hills, and more intense muscle & joint pain. Mile 12 signaled less than 10 more minutes left in the run – my body sensed we were coming to a close and the adrenaline started to wane. With 800 meters to go the tightness in my joints turned to sharp, intense pain. My muscles were so tight. Coming into the finishing chute with 100 meters to go brought the last surge of adrenaline. The announcer called my name. Tyler shouted from the sidelines. I smiled. I had finished.
One of the greatest feelings during the race was seeing all of the friends, family & spectators out cheering on the runners. There were several times that I just wanted to run up to these people – give them all hugs and kisses and thank them, thank them, thank them. There was the hula hoop girl at mile 5. The “Do it for the beer children” sign guy at mile 10. There was the little hispanic boy at mile 11 who stood by the roadside alone and offered his hand for hi-fives. Their energy kept my eyes and spirits up. They kept me from focusing on my hurts. They kept me moving towards the finish. Their effort cannot be overlooked – half of my run yesterday was a result of their energy, not my own, and I thank them for that.
In the wake of my finish I’m seriously thinking about continuing my training into the spring with the goal of completing a full marathon (26.2 miles) in late May or early June. This time I’ll add in more yoga, more stretching, more runs, and smarter eating. I learned a lot of lessons from this first half marathon, and I want to improve upon this run by solidly completing a full marathon before my 30th birthday in the fall.
Filed under: Austin, events, Heath + Beauty, lifestyle, personal, running, sports, travel | Tags: 10 mile run, austin half marathon, Austin half marathon course video, austin marathon, half marathons, Mexico, Puerto Vallarta, running, Town Lake Trail, training for a half marathon
I am supposed to be packing my bags for Puerto Vallarta right now. I innocently dropped in on the interweb to check up on logistical things like, “How much does it park to cost at the South Austin Ghetto Terminal?” and, “Just HOW perfect will the weather be in Mexico this weekend?”. Suddenly an hour had passed and I’d invited all of my family to join my family tree on facebook, had watched the half-marathon course video & had read all about Sam Lufti suing Britney & her dad on people.com (guilty pleasure).
So now I’m going to blow another hour with a short & sweet update on my half marathon training progress. Besides, it’s not like it’s going to take that long to pack 3 bikinis and some flip-flops, right?
Sunday was my first double-digit long run. 10 Miles. During last week’s 9 mile run I felt really good. Deceptively good. I figured 10 miles would be nuthin’.
Boy, am I an idiot! 10 Miles was rough. It didn’t help that this was the first long run that I monitored my pace. I was hoping to complete the Town Lake Trail (all of it) in 1:30:00 (9:00 mile pace). I thought that carrying a watch would be fun, informative, inspirational. Instead, it turned me into a mile marker vulure and tricked me into performing lots of odd mathematical calculations between posts. By the end both my brain and my body were exhausted. If I made it to a marker on time, I was thrilled and my feet seemed to soar above the trail. But if I’d encountered hills or traffic and had fallen behind, I was crushed. From there on I noticed every hurt, every weak stride and every labored exhale. Running with a watch turned me into a little whiner.
In the end I finished the 10 just a smidge off my goal time – in 1:33:30. I still haven’t decided if I will wear the watch on my next (and last) long run: a 11 or 12 miler on Sunday.
In other race-related news, I found out today that the Austin Half & Full Marathon was voted “Greenest race in America” by Runner’s World in 2008 and that they’ve stepped up their efforts this year to be even more green! I was really excited to see that they’re going to be composting food waste at the finish line, and that HEB will not be providing any items in styrofoam. Yay for physical AND environmental health, all in one!
That’s it for my update. Now I leave you with this – my inspiration to log off of the interweb and dig my swimsuits out from the depths of my chest of drawers. Beautiful, isn’t it?:
Filed under: Austin, Heath + Beauty, lifestyle, personal, running | Tags: 2009 austin half marathon, 2009 austin marathon, austin half marathon, austin marathon, austin running, double trouble 15k, half marathon, half marathon training, running
Obama’s inaugural message of Hope this morning has seeped far beyond my social/political/economic concerns. Perhaps his election to the highest seat of power in our government allowed me to see clearly that anyone can do anything they set their mind to. Whatever the motivation, I am both excited and terrified to announce that I am now officially registered for the Austin Half Marathon on February 15, 2009.
In the last month I have ramped up my usual running regimen in anticipation for the race. Even though I’ve been preparing both physically and mentally, filling out the registration form today felt monumental. This is the first time in 11 years of recreational running that I’ve actually trained for a specific running event. Since I moved to Texas over 4 years ago I’ve participated in a slew of shorter events, mainly 5k’s. My longest road race thus far has been a 10k (I’ve run two), my longest trail race was a 15k I ran in 2002, the Double Trouble 15k at French Creek State Park in Pennsylvania. But I’ve never run anything close to the 13.1 miles I am now committed to run in February.
I am terrified.
My training got started late (thanks to the holidays) and then was shelved for a week after New Years (thanks to a cold). But after solidly completing my first 8-miler this past weekend at a comfortable 9:00 mile pace, and after my pain & blisters had healed within 24 hours, and after seeing that the half was 96% sold out, I finally pulled the trigger on my first half marathon. Now I know I can do it. And now I’ve paid for it, I have to do it.
I am terrified!