Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Part 2

The next Captain Karl's night time trail race I was able to participate in was on August 8th at Colorado Bend State Park.  This was a new race for me and I was not prepared for the hills at this venue!  With almost 1700 feet of elevation gain, I was definitely in for a challenge. 

The next day I hiked to the water falls which was so amazing!

In Freeport, I ran a local 5K named the Shrimp Run.  It was a fun little race with a bridge crossing and I managed to snag 1st place in my age group.

On Labor day weekend, I headed to Alvin in the morning to run the Purple Monkey Fun run 5K.  This race is a great event with tons of crowd support and a good cause!

That same day, I headed to Lake Jackson to run through the woods at dusk getting chased by zombies in the Zombiefest 5K.  I didn't realize this race was going to be so competitive as there was four of us girls battling for the top finish spots. 

Another September race took me near Blanco, to the Lighthouse 20 Miler, a trail race in the Texas Trail Championship.  This course was hilly and two loops with beautiful views.  Over 1300 feet of elevation gain at this race.  My first loop was much faster than my second, as the heat and hills really started to wear me down the second time around.

In October I competed in my only triathlon for the year- the Mammoth Lake Tri.  I had done little biking since my accident in April and barely any swimming which is my weakest sport.  After having a near drowning experience years ago, I should have known that I needed to train properly and could not just wing it.  I freaked out in the water and had to have a friend who was on kayak patrol calm me down and talk me into finishing the swim and the race.  It was a panic attack and I'm not proud, but I am glad I was able to finish. 

I was registered for the Houston Half Marathon in October but due to torrential rains that weekend, the event was cancelled.  We had some local runners get together and ran the 13.1 miles that afternoon on our own to get in the distance anyway.  It drizzled rain and was cool but we persevered.

In Lake Jackson I ran the Turkey Trot 5K for the Intermediate Band Program.  I love this race, as its a great way to see local running friends and has a good turn out. I finished in 26:45 for 1st place in my age group.  I especially love it when I see my running idol: Max Royalty who is an amazing runner and who I aspire to be like!  He won his age group as well! See below!

The last race of the Texas Trail Championship took me 7 hours north to the Isle Du Bois State Park for a 23 Mile trail scamper.  This race didn't have any major climbs and the elevation gain was 900 feet, but there wasn't any places to really open up and run.  Its a twisty turny kind of course that is best for seasoned trail runners.  I found out later that I was able to take 1st place in my age group at this event.  The race director from Endurance Buzz adventures sent my award, a cow bell.

The last race of the year was the Santa Hustle Half Marathon in Galveston.  I wasn't feeling real strong and still recovering from Isle du Bois so I took it easy and just enjoyed running with friends at this race.

Even though I'm not a fast runner compared to many, I did compete with a solid plan in the Texas Trail Championship and was able to win my age group for 2015.  It was a lot of fun keeping up with the standings and meeting other trail runners around the state. 

There it is, lots of training, running, and having fun with my family and friends.  Can't wait to see what 2016 may bring!

2015 Year in Review: What a running season it was! Part 1

The first race of the year was the Houston Marathon which is my favorite marathon in regards to crowd support.  I had an extra incentive to run fast in 2015 as I was catching a cruise ship that same day out of Galveston.  I stayed focused on a steady finish and completed the race in 4:17:20 which set a new Marathon PR for me!  Here is a photo after the race but before I rushed to Galveston to catch my cruise ship to the Caribbean. 

The next race was only two weeks later and was the Galveston Marathon.  The weather was warmer and more humid than Houston, however I was able to shave a few seconds off my finish time at 4:17:03.  I worked hard to get this PR in less than perfect running conditions:

One week later I was at it again, this time I hit the trails for the Piney Woods 20 Miler at Lake Houston Wilderness Park, where I was able to complete my first race in the Texas Trail Championship series and win second in my age group. Run in Texas put on great events, and I especially love the barbeque and Karbach beer after!

One of my favorite things to do is support local runs, so February 7th, I ran the Angleton Spectacle Spectacular benefiting the Lions Club eyeglass drive.  I was feeling good that day and finished in 25:21 for 1st place in my age group.

The Seabrook Lucky trails half marathon happens on Saturday and Sunday.  I ran on Saturday and cheered for friends on Sunday.  I was happy with my finish in 2:01:36. 

I have an awesome running partner, named Bella the Wonder Dog.  She ran the Doggy Dash with me despite the pouring rain and treacherous trails, we were able to finish in 25:39 and pick up 1st place in my age group. 

In April I ran my second race in the Texas Trail Championship - Hells Hills 25K put on by Tejas Trails.  This race was hilly, and slippery as it was raining.  At one point I unintentionally did the splits while sliding down a hill that I was supposed to be running up. 

The last minute decision to run a race was made on the morning of April 18th, in which I got up early and drove to Hunstville State Park to run Hog's Hunt 25K, my third race in the Texas Trail Championship.  These trails were also muddy and Huntsville has very little areas where a runner can open up and get some speed as the trails twist and turn with loads of tree roots to keep you on your toes.

 On April 26th I had a major set back:  I was riding my bike with a group when some fishing line "caught" me going 20 mph.  The line cut into my leg and caused a bike pile up with a trip to the Urgent care for me and my busted up chin, hand, and legs.  This made May and all time low month for running miles and killed my training.

The Lake Jackson Firecracker Run is a great local race put on by our local tri club and I convinced the family to come participate in the walk while I ran the 4 miler.

The very next day I competed in the Fishing Fiesta 5K in Freeport.  I was happy with my place as 1st in my age group and 9th female overall.  The race director advertised this race with cash prizes for top 10 men and top 10 women finishers.  Then after the race, he changed his mind and only gave out cash prizes to top 10 overall.  He said later he would honor and send the prize money but never did.  I was disappointed in how that was handled.

The Captain Karl's night time trail races are part of the Texas trail Championship and I ran the Muleshoe 30K in July.  This race really beat me in 2014 so I vowed to do better this time.  Unfortunately my time only improved by 7 minutes, but I felt much better at the end of the race.  This course is really tough for a flatlander like me! 

Another local 5K that I love to run in is the Mosquito Chase 5K in Clute.  They have an entire festival to celebrate our mosquitos down here, lol!  I finished first in my age group and won an amazing trophy with a mosquito on top! 

All my races I ran as a proud member of the Texas Beef Team as you can see in my race photos, I proudly represented the Beef Team in my race jersey.  Check back for Part Two of my 2015 race year.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Top campaign Fines and Current Election Numbers

Campaign Fines

Campaigns must report donations of $1000 or more within 20 days of Election Day.

FEC rules allow a maximum of $46,000 for campaign donation from donors.  Donations that exceed this amount must be refunded within 60 days.  What happens when these rules are violated?

The Obama campaign was fined $375,000 for these offences by the FEC for the 2008 election. 

Reed the full story at:

Current Election Numbers:

Candidates were required to file reports on their campaign donations on October 15th.  This is only part of the picture.  SuperPacs aren't required to report donations until January 31st. 

Here is where the top candidates stand according to most recent reports:

Total Raised by Campaigns in the Third Quarter (in Millions)

1 Hillary Clinton Clinton $29.9
2 Bernie Sanders Sanders 26.2
3 Ben Carson Carson 20.8
4 Jeb Bush Bush 13.4
5 Ted Cruz Cruz 12.2
6 Carly Fiorina Fiorina 6.8
7 Marco Rubio Rubio 5.7
8 John Kasich Kasich 4.4
9 Chris Christie Christie 4.2
10 Donald Trump Trump 3.9
11 Rand Paul Paul 2.5
12 Martin O’Malley O’Malley 1.3
13 Mike Huckabee Huckabee 1.2
14 Lindsey Graham Graham 1.1
15 Lawrence Lessig Lessig 1.0
16 Jim Webb Webb 0.7
17 Bobby Jindal Jindal 0.6
18 Rick Santorum Santorum 0.4
19 George Pataki Pataki 0.2
20 Jim Gilmore Gilmore 0.1
21 Lincoln Chafee Chafee 0.0
22 Scott Walker Dropped out Walker Dropped out 7.4

Monday, October 26, 2015

Women, the Glass Ceiling, Elected Government

In No Seat at the Table, How Corporate Governance and Law Keep Women Out of the Boardroom, Douglas Branson describes the Glass Ceiling.  By this, Branson refers to the invisible barrier that keeps women from advancing to high level management positions.  Upper management for major corporations are made up of a majority of men and this male subculture is often difficult for women to breakthrough.  Women who are the minority in a group may be treated as a token and bear the brunt of jokes at her expense.  (Branson p. 109) Stereotyping of the token or minority in the group happens often.  Higher scrutiny is given to women when they are the minority.  This visibility limits their freedom of action.  Women face limited career advancement.  The term “glass ceiling” has been used as an analogy for “a barrier so subtle that it is transparent, yet so strong that it prevents women and minorities from moving up the management hierarchy” (Morrison and Von Glinow, 1990: 200) (Crosby and Stockdale).  Women possess the ambition, motivation and skills for upper management positions but are rarely able to achieve such positions.  Women face a lack of support in obtaining upper management positions.  Women face discrimination such as sexual harassment.  Women on average earn less than their male counterparts with equal education and responsibilities.    Crosby and Stockdale identify three barriers for women to gain promotion which include, “male stereotyping and preconceptions of women, exclusion from informal networks of communication and lack of significant general management/line experience.”  There are critical behaviors that women can adopt to break through the glass ceiling in their careers. 
Women who exceed expectations do the best that they can at all tasks. 
* Women can adapt a style that fellow employees are comfortable with. 
* Women should seek out challenging, difficult and highly visible assignments. 
* Women who have an influential mentor have greater career success and more advancement opportunities.

Taking  a look at the women in elected Government, Audrey Wall wrote a good article which includes the table showing that women reached over 25% of statewide elective officials, but that number has declined in more recent years.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Local Election

Local elections also cost quite a bit.  Let's take a look at Houston's mayor Annise Parker.  Annise Parker is in her final year as mayor due to term limits. She has served three times starting in 2010.  We can review her contributions that supported her in her run for office.

Here's a graph from the 2009 election:  The 2013 race racked up even more contributions.

What happens when campaign funds aren't reported properly?  The Texas Ethics Commission fined Annise parker for leaving out and misreporting campaign funds.  The fine was $200, and the publicity probably cost much more harm than that.

What's next for Annise Parker after her three terms as mayor?  In a recent interview with the Texas Tribune, the Governor of Texas position is mentioned. 

Here's a great link to a video interview from University of Houston Libraries:

What's happening in the 2015 year for the Mayoral campaign so far, read the article published by the Houston Chronicle and linked below to see the numbers:

Mayor Annise Parker, an openly gar woman, has been successfully able to run and be elected as Mayor of the fourth largest city in the US and successfully manage the city during the recession.  This is a sign of how far our country has come in accepting diversity.