Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mutimodal What?

As if I wasn't crazy busy enough, being Mom, working full time as an appraiser, and training for crazy long distance events like Ultra Marathons and Ironman Triathlons, I decided in January to go to college at UHCL full time.  UHCL provides online classes that will allow me to get my Bachelor's Degree.  I have two associate degrees from Alvin Community College.  I took some time off, and decided I need to finish my education.  Spring 2014, I took 4 classes and juggled everything well enough to get 3 A's and a B.  This summer I am taking two classes.  The first one is called Basic Text Western Tradition II.  Our first major discussion is on multimodal composition.  Once I figured out what multimodal composition was, I got excited.  Here is a class that allows you to complete assignments and express yourself in new and innovative ways.  This refreshing spin on learning inspires a student to really get involved in their work.  Plus there are two examples of multimodal composition I utilize daily in my life.  This is my blog, almost like an online diary where I feel comfortable expressing myself.  Mostly the theme is around my hobby of endurance sports, running and triathlon. I enjoy reading other blogs and subscribe to many online.  The other major multimodal composition I enjoy daily is podcasts.  I originally found podcasts through iTunes.  Now I utilize my Stitcher app to listen to podcasts.  I listen while in the car, running or on the bike.  My favorites are mostly about endurance sports.  The extra Mile is a unique podcasts in which listeners may call in and record a short clip or as I do, save an audio file and email it to the producer, Kevin.  Kevin then records an intro, then strings all of the clips together, and records an ending, and posts these podcast shows for all to hear. Two other's that I listen to are Ultra Runner Podcast and Trail Runner Nation.  These podcasts are similar in that they focus on trail running and the ultra-running community.  A race longer than the marathon distance of 26.2 miles is considered an ultra.  These shows tend to involve an interview with elite runners in the sport or race directors of ultra-marathon races.  One of the best triathlon podcast is called Endurance Hour.  Dave Erickson and Roger Thompson are the host and they do a recap of Ironman races that happen each week, interviews with elite racers, and prize giveaways.  Marathon Training Academy and Zen in the Art of Triathlon are also great listens as the producers are athletes and coaches and share their own experiences with the listeners.  Lastly, the one podcasts that I follow that has nothing to do with endurance sports is called We're Alive.  It is a radio show that is in its third season.  The show is about a group of survivors during the Zombie Apocalypse.  And since they do their fair share of running, I guess it does appeal to me. The production of this show is amazing, including a full cast and sound effects.  I hope to utilize multimodal composition to complete all assignments for the college class.  This opportunity has inspired me to look forward to learning.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

So you want to be an ironman?

Last year saw many first, my first triathlon.  I did 3 sprint distance triathlons: Combat Tri in Texas City, Sugarland Tri, and Blackland Tri in Plano.  My first ultra, the 50K at Huntsville State Park.  2014 has new challenges to conquer. My first 70.3 half ironman distance triathlon.  I've chosen the Onalaska Tri on 09/14/14 at lake Livingston.  This is not an Ironman branded event which I feel is a smart move as I am looking for a smaller venue to get my feet wet.  Leading up to this event, I will complete the Sugarland Tri on June 22, and the Shadow Creek Ranch Triathlon on July 13th.  The Sugarland Tri was such a great race, I was excited to be able to compete in it once again.  And since all my tri's last year were pool swims, I felt it important to find a sprint tri with an open water swim to get a feel for it before the 70.3 which of course is a 1.2 mile open water swim in lake Livingston.  Luckily I have a great team of endurance athletes that like to train with me and are willing to also take on this challenge, so there are four of us competing and two coming to support us in our endeavor.  I was very active in my running during the winter, which is as expected, as I love to run.  I did however neglect my biking and swimming.  This month I have started back to making a weekly effort to bike and swim.  Today was my 3rd time in the pool this season, and I was happy to find that my swim speed is still where I was at the end of the season last year.  The bike upgrade I was hoping for this spring won't happen due to lack of funds.  Family and home became a bigger priority, but I feel confident I can put in the training needed to finish.  Here's to Tri-ing!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Texas Beef Running Team

My first race to run as a member of the Texas Beef Running Team was the Galveston Marathon.  This year I am considered a Beef Tip.  My first year I have to meet the requirements of running at least 3-4 Team approved races and volunteering at a team approved race all in my Beef Jersey.  After this year, I will be a full fledged member and get all the great benefits of being on the Team!
We had a Beef Team meet up before the start of the race and we took Team pics.

During the race, there were Beef Team members, cheering, taking pics, and handing out awesome cold wet towels.  Loved the wet towels as it was hot and humid during this race!

This marathon was my fourth full marathon and even though conditions weren't ideal, I surprised myself with a PR of 4:24:19.

Go Beef!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 year in review

2013 was a busy year.  I completed 16 races, starting with the Houston Chevron Marathon on 01/13/13 in 4:26:38.  

On 01/26/13, me and the kids volunteered at the Surfside Shuffle, this was also Erin's birthday!

The next race was the Sugar and Spice half marathon on 02/17/13 in 2:13:36, this run was 13.9 miles as I went the wrong way oops.

The Sugarland Half Marathon was on 03/03/2013 and my finish time was 2:09:17.

Angie's half crazy half marathon was on my birthday 04/07/13, and I finished in 2:11:46.

My first ever triathlon was the Combat Tri in Texas City on 05/25/13 and finish time for the Sprint distance was 1:32:25.

The Sugarland Tri was 06/23/13 and I felt much more confident at this race finishing in 1:14:44.

The Firecracker 4 miler on 07/04/13 was a hot one and I finished in 35:50.  I love that my kids came to run this one!

The Blackland Tri was in Plano on 09/02/2013 and I finished in 1:36:29.  The hills and rain tried to beat me.

I scored a 1st place age group award at the Hometown Hero 5K in West Columbia on 09/14/13 with a finish time of 28:13.

Another 1st place age group award at the BCPOA 5K in Lake Jackson on 09/21/13 finish time of 27:32.

A fun first ever Lake Jackson Pub Crawl had a great turn out on 09/28/13.

One more 1st place age group award at the Holy Trinity 5K in Angleton on 10/05/13 in 27:20 finish.

A wet and muddy Brazos Bend half marathon on 10/27/13 with a finish of 2:18:00.

The Clear Lake City was exciting a new PR in 1:55:26 and 3rd place age group award on 11/10/13.

The Sugarland Turkey Trot on 11/28/13 was my first 5 miler with a finish of 43:14.

The Texas Trail Endurance Run on 12/07/13 was my first Ultra, a 50K at Huntsville State Park with a finish of 6:17:13.

On 12/14/13, I was the race director of the Brazoria Jingle Bell Run, we had a great turnout!

On 12/15/2013 I ran the Sugarland 30K and got a 21 minute PR with a finish of 3:03:53.

I had so much fun running, racing and volunteering in 2013.  Can't wait to see what 2014 may bring!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ultra Race

The A race on the schedule is the Texas Trail Endurance Run on December 7th, a 50K ultra at Huntsville State Park on some technical trails with hills, roots, and pine trees.  This event is put on by Soler Sports and has me training some high mileage long runs to be ready.  Last long run was a 22 miler that had me feeling strong and confident that I can finish the Ultra.  Plan is to do a 24 miler and a 26 miler before tapering for the race.  Somehow working in some shorter distance races before the Ultra.  This weekend I'll be running the Clear Lake City half marathon.  Not expecting to PR as my focus hasn't been preparing for this distance.  Though I know I can easily finish the distance,  I won't be running at full speed.  I will save some for the heavy training I am putting in for my Ultra.  Love the fall season and cool fronts that make training so nice this time of year.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

2013 Combat Triathlon Review

On May 25th, I participated in my first ever triathlon.  Being a runner, I thought maybe triathlon will help me cross train and be less stress and injury.  Our local triathlete club, LJFAT had a great contest, called IronMay.  The contest was to complete the ironman distance at swimming, biking, and running in the whole month of May and log your progress.  This was great for me, as I had never swam and biked so much in one month, and it's great training for the Combat Triathlon at the end of the month.  I was able to complete the contest, and felt ready for the triathlon.  Being my first triathlon, I was pretty nervous.  I've never been a strong swimmer, and had a drowning experience in the past.  I also get foot cramps in cold water so my anxiety level was pretty high.  Luckily I was starting the pool swim at the back of the pack and had time to watch all the fast swimmers go through.  The swim was at the College of the Mainland in Texas City, and if anything, the water was too warm.  I had people in front of me, behind me, and all around, I panicked.  I was really glad that the pool was only 4 feet deep throughout the entire length, as the anxiety was very strong and I was really glad I could touch bottom when needed.  I came out of the pool in 8:39 and very stressed.  The 300 yard pool swim was done, I could transition to the bike.  I remembered exactly where my bike was, and was still feeling the remnants of the anxiety from the poor swim.  I shook it off, got geared up, and headed out pushing my bike to the line.  The 15 mile bike ride was an out and bike along the feeder road of the highway.  I started out a little too fast, and finally found a good pace.  I didn't have my garmin on, so I rode by feel and tracked my time with my ironman watch.  I had another lady who kept about the same pace, and we took turns leading.  Then at an intercetion, a police officer put his hand out and I hit the brakes.  The lady flew past me, and I lost her from that point on.  I finished the bike in 50:42 and hit transition for the run.  In transition, I had my right calf and both feet cramp up while trying to change shoes.  These cramps were debilitating and I had no choice but to stretch them out and wait for them ease before I could move on.  I finally started my run with legs that felt like jello.  At this point, all I could think was I just have to finish.  The run went through a residential section and I was able to run all except the water breaks.  I saw a man in a yellow jersey ahead of me, so I decided to try and catch him.  When I finally got close enough to read his age on the back of his leg, I saw that he was 73.  I caught up and chatted with him for a mile, before he told me to go ahead and finish strong.  I finished the 3 mile run in 29:13.  As I came through the finish chute, I remarked that this was as hard as my first marathon.  Which even though my overall time was 1:32:25, I definately felt that the exertion level was significant.  It was a humbling experience for me to finish at the "back of the Pack."  I have plenty of progress to be made and am training for the next one.