Okay, maybe this dog doesn't count. This one was abandoned in our room during our cruise. He came with a pile of chocolate so he was welcomed with open arms.
Cruise ship food isn't quite as good as it's fabled to be but that didn't stop us from eating about 10 deserts every day. It got bad when we started to preview the deserts before dinner. We'd try them at the cafeteria and order them again a few hours later. Good thing none of them was as good a chocolate bark.
There was one desert to write home about, chocolate covered key lime pie on a stick. We got that in Key West. My taste buds exploded with that, a perfect combination of fruit and chocolate. Mmmmmm !
Monday, December 31, 2007
Okay, maybe this dog doesn't count. This one was abandoned in our room during our cruise. He came with a pile of chocolate so he was welcomed with open arms.
Posted by Mich at 7:25 PM
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Posted by Mich at 8:54 PM
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Today was the Dallas White Rock Marathon...
When we woke up yesterday morning we had an email warning us of the weather forecast. At the time it predicted a low of 65 for today with 90% humidity. During our drive up yesterday morning that forecast made a huge change. This morning it was 50 at the race start and 40 by the time we finished.
I got pretty chilly and probably didn't have enough clothing but I was very thankful when I saw Charles and he gave me the J&A gloves off his hands in return for a soaking wet pair. My hands were warm for a few more miles but I was already in a world of pain by that point.
My foot hurt with every step and I was cold but I've got no excuses. Overall, I am actually proud of my efforts. I went out there with a plan and I stuck too it as long as I could. My body didn't agree with that idea and I was hurting for the majority of that race. But I dug deep and kept insisting to push through as much pain as I could take. My plan and my PR were gone but I was determined to run the whole thing and keep my promise to Michael, even if I blow up I will do everything in my power to be sure I hit my Boston time. I did that, I pushed as hard as I could today with what I had. I crossed the line spent, felt like I was going to faint for a while, and have been shivering for most of the day.
When I saw rich I asked him where Michael was and how he'd done. In true form Michael left everything on the course and dropped at the finish line. He'd been sick this week, woke up in covered in sweat and dehydrated and went out as hard as he could today. In the end he got a 16s PR, missing his Boston Qualifier time by 14s.
We plotted out our splits. The fluctuations based on mile follow the same general pattern but Michael's even splits exhibit a much stronger race than my death march to the finish. Mile 24 cost him the race or maybe it was the cliff shot he took when he forgot he had another Carbboom in his pocket. Either was he ran with everything he had and I couldn't be prouder of my husband.
Also, a huge congratulations to Meghan. She qualified for Boston for the first time ever.
Posted by Mich at 7:16 PM
Friday, December 7, 2007
We're 36 hrs away from the start of White Rock marathon...
This week there have been a few key thoughts on my mind;
1) no matter what the pace, it'll hurt for the last 10K. --> push hard and smile
2) everyone has stress before a race and at the end of the semester. --> try to shake it off
Today's plans got a little messed up since Michael was feeling a bit under the weather. We made some adjustments and ended up heading home early.
As I was in the kitchen cooking up food I accidentally reached over and grabbed the hot lid for the rice. I quickly dropped it and opened the freezer to grab something cold. Apparently the bag of peas I found was already opened and in my zealous motion peas flew out of the bag all over the floor. The big clump is easy to see but if you look closely you can see peas all over the place. Michael quickly remarked, "you just pea-ed all over the floor."
I get clumsy when I'm stressed. Even with the best intentions it's hard not to fret about an upcoming race. Thankfully I've got a lot of friends who have called to wish me well and a husband who still has a great sense of humor when he's not feeling great.
Posted by Mich at 6:18 PM
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Researchers in the Nonlinear Biodynamics Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Texas are studying how dynamic stability changes when walking if a perturbation (gait interruption) are applied.
Participants will have their movements recorded while they walk on a treadmill across a range of moderate speeds for 10 minutes at a time, for up to a total of 60 minutes.
The experiment will require each subject to complete one visit. The session will take ~3 hours to complete. Subjects will receive financial compensation for their time.
Men and women of all ethnicities are eligible and encouraged to participate.
If you are a healthy adult between the ages of 18-36, and would like to participate, please contact me
Posted by Mich at 8:41 PM
Saturday, November 17, 2007
After returning from an air race today, Michael realized there were a few pictures from FL which had slipped through the cracks. I couldn't help but add them to the blog, with a bit of explanation.
Posted by Mich at 5:31 PM
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I see red.... today I learned that I don't always need to catch the red ahead of me. The EAS 10-miler was today and I found myself caught up in the excitement of the first mile. A large group of J&A Jerseys all passed the 1 mile mark at ~6:50. Angie and I had said we'd go conservative and try to do the first mile closer to 7:30's. That didn't quite happen and I quickly learned why I always tell myself to start conservative.
Going to hard at the start caught up to me as soon as I hit an incline. That incline was at mile 2, just about the time Jack ran past me. For some crazy reason I'd actually thought I might be able to outrun Jack if I had a good day. I had to set my ego aside and go with how my body felt. Hopefully I'll put my head back on straight and I'll run smarter at Dallas.
Maybe I needed a day to put things into perspective... at least I didn't get passed by anyone pushing a baby jogger with 4 kids and a case of beer. In the grand scheme of things a good time at a 10 mile run is still less delightful to watch than a sunset over the ocean.
Posted by Mich at 8:27 AM
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Trisha told me that while she was attending school in Hawaii the tri team had a rule, you can't leave the race site with your race gear on. Apparently this guy didn't get the memo. Not only did he leave the race site with his gear on, he kept it on all the way to the airport.
BTW, Garel pictures from IMFL are up on Picasa web
Total Waffle House past on the drive from Austin to Panama City Beach = 30.
Michael, Diana and I visited one the morning after the race. It was the first visit for each of us. We encountered a rude A-type triathlete waiting for a table but our overly kind waitress made up for it.
Later that night we went out for dinner and our triathlete friend from earlier happened to be at the same place. As they were leaving his friend was taking pictures of some girl's behind, these guys seemed like real winners. It's amazing what you witness after the race.
Posted by Mich at 11:57 AM
Monday, November 5, 2007
During the swim, some guy had a florescent pink wig on over his swim cap. It was funny but a little humbling too, he was swimming at a faster pace then I would've been w/o a wig.
We saw a few people dressed in costumes during the run. The most notable were the two guys featured in this picture. As they ran by I cheered, "Good job super heroes.
Posted by Mich at 5:58 AM
Thursday, November 1, 2007
"It must be nice to be a Garel" -- or maybe Jackson meant to say "It must be nice to be a Geek" I am blogging as we are driving down I-10, heading over to Panama City Beach to watch our Austin friends in another race.
I just spoke to Keith. He and Jackson have about 10 min left to check in for the race on Sat. They hadn't found the host hotel yet. If that were me, I'd be spazzing out. When we were at CDA I was getting my race gear ready and realized my special needs bags weren't included. That was 1hr before registration closed and I was going nuts. I only needed to find a couple of plastic bags but it still got me worked up. I guess Ahmed wasn't joking when he said Jeff is much less worried about this Ironman.
For some reason those guys didn't seem shocked that I was looking up the hotel address while I was driving. I told Keith the computer connection is slow on I-10 and he didn't even respond. Maybe they're still tired from their drive down... it took them 15hrs. I'm hoping we make it a bit quicker.
Note: Just passed a Waffle House. My goal for the trip is to keep a tally of the mecca for Southern truck drivers. I think there are at least 5 of them in Panama City Beach.
WF_Count = 1
wait... no... WF_Count = 4 (just talked to Diana and passed 3 more in about 5 minutes)
Posted by Mich at 1:46 PM
Monday, October 29, 2007
During lunch today I went over to TSC and Michael went to Rose Dental. I got beaten up by the strong swimmers of the Fiocca clan and Michael grown down by the dentist.
He sent me this picture from his cell phone. I don't think he'll be getting any calls from GQ as a result of this mug shot.
Bad news for Michael... the dentist put a temporary cap on his tooth. He'll have that for the next two weeks. During that time he's not supposed to be chomping on hard candy, nuts, gummy bears, etc. Last night he went to HEB and bought Halloween candy; Tootsie Rolls and Candy Corn. He got those so I wouldn't be tempted to eat any. He wasn't planning to get things he wouldn't be able to eat. I wonder how long it's going to take him to visit Target and buy up all the leftover chocolate on Nov 1st.
Posted by Mich at 12:50 PM
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Posted by Mich at 7:48 PM
Monday, October 22, 2007
Posted by Mich at 6:46 PM
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Posted by Mich at 1:20 PM
Until a few weeks ago the only 10K races I'd done were a hand full of Cap 10K and 10K runs at the end of Oly distance triathlons. Michael had never done a 10K and we decided it would be fun to join up with some of the Dell teams. It was a hot day and a long course so neither of us hit our goal times.
I decided that wasn't good enough and entered the IBM 10K to see what I could do. Jet lag seems to have hit us a bitter harder than usual after our trip to Kona but I figured it was worth it. My PR from Cap 10K '03 was 43:56 and I was pretty sure I could crush it.
I did crush it but the time gets a huge * next to it. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, I was near the front of the pack. There were about 50-100 of us who turned the wrong way in the Domain. I had no idea until we started to see the guys coming back in the other direction, "Turn around...There's no turn.... It's all messed up."
A bit of mass confusion then set in and people started turning at random points in the road. I picked some arbitrary spray paint mark in the road and turned myself. Nobody seemed to know what was going on and all of the sudden it seemed like I was back in a huge group of runners. People were complaining and questioning each other. Nobody seemed to know what happened and I thought, "Darn it, another long course."
We soon realized the course was going to be short but how short was unknown, everyone was turning at different spots. I was feeling the frustration and pain from running hard but managed to regain my focus when I heard loud female breathing from behind. Tiff had made a huge effort to catch me and that was just enough to spur me back into race mode. I muscled my way to the finish but it was certainly tough.
My first mile was 6:30, a bit too fast. 2nd was 6:35 after backing off. I think I slowed a bit and Michael reported a 1:50 time difference between the last person who went the wrong way and the 1st person who was on course. So, I'm going to estimate ~ 42:00-42:10 if I'd done the entire course, not the 40:16 reported for my chip time.
What did I learn...
This race gave me an interesting perspective. After the finish there were a lot of frustrated people, complaining, asking for their money back, etc. I had felt a loss of motivation when the pain hit and I knew the distance was off. Then I sat back and thought about it. I did this race to push myself and see what I could do. I did that, I got out there and pushed past the lactic acid and the pain and definitely had the speed to get a PR. I don't know what that time would have been but why does that really matter. After all, we were just a bunch of crazy adults who were running loops in North Austin.
Setting up a race is tough. Logistics take months to plan and sometimes a few less porta potties and a lack of turn marshalls can leave people feeling disgruntled. Chill out guys, this is all for fun and there are a lot of people who put in hours of their time so you could race today. Personally I don't see a reason to complain. I pushed myself, got a $25 gift certificate to Betty Sport, and the race provided T-shirts in size Youth L. Life is good!
Posted by Mich at 12:12 PM
Friday, October 19, 2007
Posted by Mich at 8:10 PM
Thursday, October 18, 2007
To celebrate our 6 yr anniversary Michael & I went to Kona to watch our friends race. Deanna told me that it sounds like a weird thing to do for an aniversary but not so strange for Michael and I. She's correct, it was a perfect Garel trip.
Posted by Mich at 7:13 PM
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
There are plenty of females out there who select shoes because they match a particular clothing item. My crocks don't match my shirt or shorts, they match my bike, my wheel bags, my transition bag, and almost match my car. Jean Anne has the same troubling tendencies as I do, I'm waiting for the day when she shows up to practice with a bright orange car.
Posted by Mich at 11:45 AM
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Posted by Mich at 6:59 PM
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Posted by Mich at 1:39 PM
Sunday, September 23, 2007
It seems like all the guys I've been riding with have lost the air conditioning in their cars.
I've never quite understood the lure of a convertible. I'm much happier feeling the wind in my face while riding under my own power. Without A/C in the car it just makes a huge mess of your hair, especially when you have fine hair that easily blows all over the place. Even in a pony-tail my hair goes crazy with the windows open. Slower speeds with a bike helmet on are much more enjoyable.
Both Michael and Colin are now driving vehicles without A/C. I guess it's not too bad if you don't want to have a conversation. My brother and I were practically having a screaming match on the way home on Friday. Of course, I was happy to hang out with him and he got me home 2hrs before the bus so I shouldn't complain too much.
Posted by Mich at 2:04 PM
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Posted by Mich at 7:11 PM
Thursday, September 13, 2007
One of Michael's co-workers spotted this dog at Braker & I-35 the other day. Apparently the panhandler and his dog are working together at that corner.
Although I've never quite understood the fascination of dressing up your animal, I commend this panhandler for creativity. I'm sure there has been more than one occasion when someone has parted with money or goods purely due to amusement from this dog. Creativity and humor are admirable characteristics, life wouldn't be as enjoyable if we were all bland.
Goal of the day: make someone laugh :)
Posted by Mich at 6:44 AM
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Posted by Mich at 7:12 PM
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
After checking out the Austin Tri race course Sunday morning I drove over to Milago to begin my "rock star" weekend. I was greeted at the gate by the rock star herself, Meghan.
Some of you may be questioning why I'd call a semiconductor engineer a rock star but compared to Scofield Farms, those people in Milago definitely live like rock stars. You'll have to believe me on this, I've been sworn to secrecy.
I think that rock star persona was contagious because I certainly felt like one during the race yesterday. There were people all over the course and it seemed like someone knew my name on every street corner. I'm not in prime shape right now and that gave me just the incentive I needed too goof off a bit and ham up the crowd. It was like one big party... well... after the swim that is.
I will admit, I did have to take a quick break from rock star persona near the end of the race. Amy A. accused me of not pushing myself so I was sure to put on my game face when I passed her again. After all, no rock star wants to let the crowd down.
To all of you who were out there cheering, volunteering, and racing; thank you for making the race so enjoyable.
Posted by Mich at 7:03 PM
Friday, August 31, 2007
Tonight Michael & I went up to the Olive Garden in Round Rock for Dinner. Although Round Rock is fabled to suck the soul out of you, I had an enjoyable time while I was there and made it out safely.
Colin tends bar at that Olive Garden so we go there every few months to ruffle his feathers a bit. Tonight was a fun experience, we sat down next to some of Colin's "regulars." Michael was quite amused that the Olive Garden bar has regulars. They were a fun couple and seemed to get a good laugh out of telling Colin they heard he was adopted, etc.
While we were there I noticed some traits that we both try to exhibit while working. He kept a smile on his face and worked diligently to get everything done. He made an effort to ask people how there were and was very friendly to his customers.
The most interesting part of the evening was what happened when the bar tender next to him knocked a bottle of wine onto the ground at Colin's feet. He didn't move and inch from the computer where he was entering someones order. It was amusing to me b/c last Friday I reacted exactly the same when a cup of coffee was knocked onto my feet at the bike shop.
On the ride home I contemplated why we both had this ability to act as if nothing had happened. After a bit of thought I realized that we'd both received our training as kids. When we were growing up Colin spilled his glass of milk at almost every meal. After years of getting milk spilled all over our dinner plates and splashing all over our clothes neither one of us seemed to worry about spilled milk anymore.
Ironically, Colin was a milk delivery man in high school. I believe the picture above was taken during one of his days at work.
Posted by Mich at 7:04 PM
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Posted by Mich at 6:09 PM
Monday, August 27, 2007
Oh yes... I am also a chicken on the bike. One of the roads on the course got a nice new layer of chip seal the other day. I was scared to death when I hit that section of the course. Lucky for me, I got my first power meter the other day and I was able to look at it afterwards to see how lame I actually am. My power dropped significantly and my speed decreased by 5 mph.
What's the consensus... am I a wimp or is there some secret I haven't discovered yet? What is that token of knowledge that allows us to push past our fears and reach those superhuman states? Where is the switch that you hit to tell yourself to go harder instead of staying in your comfort zone?
Posted by Mich at 12:37 PM
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
On Sunday night Lynne spoke with her boat pilot and a 'possible' departure time of 2am was set. The weather forecast was still a bit questionable so the plan was to meet at the boat and decide what to do. In reality, the decision process never happened. We arrived, hopped on the boat, and ventured over to the start location without much question of what would happen.
Posted by Mich at 6:50 PM
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Posted by Mich at 10:27 AM
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Posted by Mich at 7:59 AM
Monday, August 13, 2007
The best part of J&A is being able to play, no matter how old you are. There are many people who have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of these new aero helmets. I never really thought too much of it until they arrived, 2 in size SMALL. We sold a number of them this weekend and although I ran around the store in mine the longest, I was definitely not the only one. Sometimes it's hard to hide that inner sense of goofiness.
Posted by Mich at 7:53 PM
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Next week I will venture over to England to be part of Lynne's crew for her channel swim. I've been waiting to visit England since I was 7 yrs old. No, Lynne hasn't been planning the trip that long, I was originally planning to go visit my friend Josh while his family was living in England. That trip never materialized, this one is quite different.
Two years ago, as we sat outside Whole Foods for Friday night dinner, Lynne told us about her plans to swim the channel in 2007. Michael & I instantly said we'd go along as part of the crew. Later that night we wondered if that would be possible, who knows where you'll be in 2 years. Flip forward 2 years and Lynne's tide happens to fit perfectly into the break between summer and fall sessions at UT, who would've guessed.
I'm very excited about the trip but over the past few weeks I've realized I'm not alone. Last week I got a call from one of Lynne's co-workers. She asked if I could transport a banner to England. Her co-workers had a bright orange banner made with "SWIMSTRONG" screened onto it.
Over the past week her c0-workers and friends have been signing the banner. She saw it for the first time today, at a meeting up at Dell. Michael managed to attend too and said Lynne was very happy about all the support. So happy that it brought tears to her eyes. There is nothing quite as wonderful as knowing your friends are supporting you in your journey, it is quite a compliment.
Rumor has it that we should all check out the Austin American Statesman tomorrow to read more about Lynne's trip. Dell is also making effort to track her while she's over there. When Michael told me about the computer with the GPS tracking system I laughed, "I don't need to watch the online updates, I'm going to be there." Hopefully I'll get some great pictures and I'll be able to update everyone else.
BTW, the picture above was taken during Lynne's 6hr swim in Lake Travis. I joined for 1 hr, wearing a wetsuit and huge paddles on my hands. That improves my pace by ~:15/100 and I was still working hard to keep up with Lynne.
Posted by Mich at 2:19 PM
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Sunday was Jack's Generic Triathlon. This race has become quite popular in Austin and there are good reasons why. It's well run and super fun. Of course, I am a bit bias so my opinion should come as no surprise. Although I was among the 800+ entrants in the race, my report might have a different perspective. For me, this race (like a lot of this season) has been about learning from others and enjoying their achievements. One of the greatest things I've been a part of this season was meeting so many people getting ready for their first triathlon. There are three notable people I met on Friday. Alayna, Noel, and 'super dad' - they all picked up their packets on Friday afternoon.
Alayna and I chatted for a while on Friday and I could see a lot of excitement in her. She's one of those people who seems to be genuinely happy and excited about the things she's experiencing. I saw her before the swim Sunday morning and her amazing personality made me instantly more excited about the race.
Noel was also doing Jack's as her first race. She asked me what I think about during the races and after a few minutes we decided we'd have the goal of crossing the finish line smiling. On Sunday morning she introduced me to her roommate, who was also going to do the race for the first time. We all agreed on our goal of smiling at the tape.
'Super Dad' is the third memorable new face of the weekend. He came into the shop on Friday to hunt down some tri shorts. All the while, his young daughter has hanging out with him. She seemed to truly enjoy hanging out with her dad and it was quite apparent that he was a great dad. He too was entering Jack's as his first triathlon and every time I saw him on Sunday he had a huge smile on his face.
Our friends Rich and Brent also entered Jack's for their first triathlons. I saw both of them on the run and they were doing great.
oh... so my race report...
Pre race -
Paul and Meredith were kind enough to give me a ride down. Michael had gone down sat afternoon to help with set-up but I was too far behind in school work so I arrived race morning. Michael had his glasses on so I knew the guys had been up late getting everything ready for us.
During my warm up run I saw a pit bull leave his mark on one of our cones. Ugh! Thankfully, his owner quickly came out to bring him inside. I don't think anyone else (aside from Dan) knew anything of this dog on race day
The most noteworthy part of the race occurred at the end of the bike. As I was coming around the last stretch I saw a TX Iron jersey ahead. Then I saw the black Griffen bike and realized I was about to pass Kevin. So, I started heckling him a bit and he told me he was right behind me. I should have listened... about 30 sec later, as we neared transition, Kevin came up on the right side of me, "Do you have any Grey Paupon?"
This freaked me out. I was already in the midst of getting ready to dismount and before slowing down I somehow managed to fly off my bike about 50 ft from the dismount line. I'm pretty sure the bike flew over my head. Lucky for me Michael was standing right there so I won't live that one down any time soon.
Overall, it was a fun day. I'm waiting for the pictures to come out to see if I have any foolish ones ;)
Good job to everyone who raced. Thank you to everyone who volunteered. A special bid of appreciation to all the new triathletes who made my day so much more enjoyable.
Posted by Mich at 8:26 PM
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Posted by Mich at 9:04 AM
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Posted by Mich at 7:05 PM
Monday, July 23, 2007
Posted by Mich at 5:15 PM