Thursday, February 7, 2008

Climbing a mountain

It seems like it's been a long time since I've posted to my blog. Some of that is due to my discovery of face book but a good portion of it is due to school.

My data is collected but I am far from being done. I'm going through that stage where it seems like the mountain ahead of me is going to take a long time to climb.

Now I must reflect upon a valuable lesson Michael forced me to learn...

On my 2nd road bike ride (1st was past the dam) my loving husband brought me to Jester. As I turned the corner I was unaware of what I'd face. Ignorance and lack of experience had me in the big chain ring. I wasn't strong enough to climb Jester in that gear and I wasn't experienced enough to quickly shift to an easier gear.

I fell very quickly. I tried to get back up and start up in the same gear and fell again. Over and over this happened. People walking along the road asked if I was okay as I gasped for air and ripped my legs apart.

Lesson learned: when you're faced with a big obstacle shift into an easy gear and take it slowly, eventually you'll get to the top

Okay, that's my insight of the day. Now I must listen to my own advice and go back to the screen with my data reconstruction on it. One step at a time, I'll just keep chugging away

Sunday, January 27, 2008

No 3M for me

This is my 8th Jan in Austin... I know that b/c I ran 3M 7x in a row. My streak is officially over, I didn't toe the start line today.

I have no race report of my own although I'm going to go ahead and share Michael's b/c he's at HEB and can't stop me.

Michael's alarm went off at 5:20, that's about 10 minutes before we would've left the house if I'd been doing the race. After wasting some time on the computer and panicking b/c he couldn't find the body glide or his hat Michael was finally out the door just after 6am.

It's a darn good thing they gave everyone the chips in their race bag, I have no clue if he would've made it to the start line in time. After all, everyone in Austin (aside from me) was running that race and MoPac was surely a mess.

When I ventured downstairs I saw an Apple Cinnamon Carbboom on the counter and panicked. I called Joe and arranged to drop it as his house. He was going to see Michael at the half way point and I figured that would be when he needed it.

Apparently Michael had remembered his Carbboom and was a bit rude to Joe when he offered it too him. Actually, I think friendly Michael actually growled a bit and pointed his canines at Joe during their 2 miles together.

After seeing a good number of Texas Iron folks, who apparently all noticed Joe first, Michael left Joe. Personally, I can't believe Joe stuck with him that long. Michael was taking my place with unfriendly race remarks, "No talking."

As it turns out Michael PR'ed and Joe is still our friend, thank goodness :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Devil in a hoody

In upstate NY it is often cold on Halloween. Therefore, costumes need to be a little warmer. One year I found some red Reebok sneakers and instantly thought of my next costume, a devil. You can dress warm when you've got a hoody sweat shit on top of your layers.

This morning I was surrounded by many people dressed in this very same way. The morning temps in Austin were below freezing and the entry to Frost Yer Fanny Duathlon included a hoody sweatshirt and a knit hat. There were quite a few people sporting their new hoody sweatshirts.

I didn't see any devils but I carried one on my shoulder for a mile. That stupid devil made my legs and foot hurt and even caused me to fall. Today I gave into that devil. Instead of running through the pain I stopped and cheered for others instead.

I'm sure I could have physically pushed through the pain as I had 6 weeks earlier but this wasn't the day for that. I have to admit, I am feeling the frustration and disappointment of not finishing what I started. On the other hand, a duathlon in January means nothing if it's your last race of the season. Who knows, maybe it wasn't a devil on my shoulder...

Injury recovery if difficult, physically and mentally. You need to balance recovery and buildup with knowledge from those who have been injured before.

Friday, January 11, 2008


None of us remembers what thoughts crossed our mind during our first days of life. How much really goes through your mind when you have nothing but the blank slate?

Curiosity for this strange giant who is holding me...

Micheal took this picture with his camera phone last night. He was super excited when Rylee opened her eyes. They are green right now and we all seemed to wonder what color they will be when she grows up.

Kudos for Colin for learning the burrito wrap yesterday. I asked him about it on wends night and he had no clue what I was talking about. On Thurs night he showed off his new skill. Maybe he'll get lucky and all of his parenting skills will come to him within a day.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Rylee Renee Brennan

Although it hasn't quite hit my brother yet he is now a father. Rylee Renee Brennan was born this afternoon, 7 lb 1 oz.

Colin's wish that she'd come out with blond hair did not happen. Rylee got Marissa's hair but the Irish name.

At this point we don't have too many amusing stories. The green poop and countless activities taking place in the developmental cycle have not quite begun. So far Rylee seems relatively content, she's most likely exhausted from the hardest day she's had in her entire life.

As a reference, Marissa said the kidney stones were harder to pass.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Movie Review

Michael and I have seen quite a few movies over the past few weeks. Off season and vacation seemed to be a great recipe to get caught up on some movies. Here's a quick review of the more notable aspects of viewing pleasure...

Charlie Wilson's War:

This was good, gave us some insight into aspects of history that seemed to happen around us while we were growing up.

Kite Runner:

I read the book while we were in FL and decided I wanted to see the movie. I had that strange experience of being somewhat disappointed that the movie is never quite as good as the book. As crazy as it might sound, I was looking for that feeling b/c I so rarely have the chance to read a book just before seeing the movie. While watching the movie I assumed Michael would be disappointed and ask why we'd gone to see it. Instead, he said it was pretty good and I was reminded that reading the book does give you a different perspective.

We rarely watch movies in the a theatre (usually on DVD) but somehow we saw two related to Afghanistan in less than a week.

Peaceful Warrior:

This was a gift from Julie. Zane had recommended this movie months ago and I was very excited to receive it. They were correct, it was a good movie. I liked it so much I went over to half price books and got a Dan Millman book to read. The big message so far; throw out the trash and don't try. Sounds funny but I think I might finally be hearing the message Michael has been telling me for a while.

Chariots of Fire:

This was on TV when we went to Colin's house the other night. We watched it until the end too see the scene on the beach. Then we waited 3 min to see the beginning of the movie (it was playing back to back). We learned that the scene at the beginning and end is the same and all of us know know exactly when the dog begins to chase after the runners.

***I'd recommend all of the above movies***


Michael's sister got this for us as a present. There was one night when I agreed I could deal with watching the movie. What's that saying, "When you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all."

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Have you ever tried to get a picture at sunset? If you have you might have experienced the difficulties with lighting. The magnificence of the colors just doesn't seem to appear as you'd hope.

After many years of attempting to get perfect sunset pictures during our trips to Florida Michael decided he was going to get one. We took over 70 sunset shots that night. The majority of them were testing lighting, the others were attempts at getting the perfect picture of ourselves and his parents.

The one above was our favorite, hope you like it.

There have been a few times this year when I've been able to laugh about Michael and his secret perfectionist quality. In most other cases he's had a partner in crime. For example, perfect placement of the turn around cones at Galveston Half and perfect spacing of the pennant flags for Jack's Generic. These small details may be unnoticed by many but the guys setting everything up spend countless hours placing everything where it needs to be.