Verse of the Day!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Perhaps you've read about the deer that decided to run the Austin Marathon, or even seen the video. I don't know if this was ahead of me or behind me, but I didn't know anything about it until the day after the race.

This morning when I was running I had a flashback to this video as three deer crossed the street not 15 feet in front of me. I think I was the one with the "deer in the headlights" look this time....

Update: Apparently, CNN took the video down. You can see it here (click under "watch the video" link), but you have to watch the whole story- it's towards the end.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Marathon pics

As you can see, I was quite proud of myself for finishing.

A New Chapter

I wasn't sure I was going to blog on this yet. I am still sort of in a state of shock. I had plenty of warning but I didn't think it would really happen. I've considered it for several years but only in the back of my mind. And now, it is a reality. I am moving back into the working world. Not like a normal 40 hours per week gig, goodness no. Right now, only 4 hours per week. I know what you must be thinking. Don't push yourself, Regina.

I will be working at Baylor as a Consulting Dietitian. It really is a dream job. God is so good! I am convinced that this is what I am suppose to be doing and the timing is perfect. We were in discussion about this job about two years ago and then Baylor went into a hiring freeze. I know that was God closing the door because I was not ready then. Now that Lindsay is older and in Preschool, I have the time to take on this responsibility. The job will likely grow to more hours (hopefully around the time that Lindsay goes to Kindergarten.) I am excited but nervous. I have worked at the same hospital in different capacities for 12 years. This will be something completely new. I have been praying for God to show me "my gift" and how I can use it to His Glory and how I can live each day with eternal value. I truely believe that this is what he wants me to do. I can share God's love with students who are suffering and struggling through my chosen profession!

I will be doing some intense education in the coming month along with a few trips. I am going to Remunda Ranch in Arizona next month for a Professional visit. I also plan to attend a workshop and shadow a few dietitians at other universities. I have lots of continuing education to complete in order to be prepared to meet the needs of these particular students.

I am thankful to God for this answer to prayer. He is truely an Awesome God!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

In the spirit of the Olympics

As I was cleaning the bathrooms today, I began to wonder how it could be that two little boys can make such a mess around the toilet area. Normally it is not too bad. I have to admit, it has been too long since I really scrubbed the floors in the bathroom. Today I remembered why it has been that long! It's not my favorite job.

I have a little note above the potty that says: 1) Use good aim 2) Flush 3) Put seat down 4 ) Wash hands. I don't know if they really follow these rules. I would hope so. Those who have visited us and used that bathroom, that note is not for you!!!

I REALLY try to emphasize shooting accuracy. I think they try but when they wake up groggy eyed, they don't point they just shoot. So what is my solution to this age old problem? Well, you know how competitive men are. So, I think we should make target urinating an Olympic sport. That is when we will see some sparkling bathroom floors. If that doesn't work, I don't know what will. When the boys were potty training, we had little targets for them to try to "shoot." They also liked to use Cheerios. Did you know how versatile Cheerios could be?

What is the big deal about standing anyway? It would be neater if they just sat every time. When Lindsay was one, she would stand in the bathroom and try to "go" by holding and pointing her belly button towards the potty. She knew she didn't have the same part as the boys but she was going to try to make due with what she had.

Enough about the potty. I guess I have been hanging around Drew too long. He thinks anything pertaining to the bathroom is hilarious. Oh, the joys of a 3rd grade boy!

Cool story...


That is all.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

TAKS is over...for now!

Thanks to those of you who prayed for Drew today. He said his eye cleared up by 8:05. He thought the test was a breeze and was done checking and rechecking by 10:00. Now on to the math in April. He is worried about passing this test because he is not in 3rd grade math. He worries as much as I do it seems.

More marathon stuff...

They've updated the results and added some cool graphics. They do a nice job of emphasizing the fact that I am merely average.


Please keep Drew in your prayers today. Although he has been in the 3rd grade classroom since kindergarten, this is the first time he will experience the TAKS test!! He has done very well on the practice tests, but he still seems worried. He says he's worried because the teachers are worried. His teacher has made it clear that he is capable of making a perfect paper. He feels the pressure to meet this expectation. He wants to receive accolates from the state for a perfect paper. We just want him to do his best.

To make things even more interesting, he woke up with a pink eye this morning. Please pray that the drops we put in his eye will make the pink eye go away quickly.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The day after....

First off, for all of you who have run marathons before (or are preparing for one), just let me get this out of the way- I know, I know, "start slow." I knew that, but I didn't particularly feel like I was going too fast. I made it under 4 hours and that was my goal, even if I didn't run a particularly smart race. Now, onto the happenings...

Towards the end of last week, I started getting worried about the weather. It looked like it was going to be colder than I would have preferred, with the possibility of rain. At this point, though, there was no turning back. I had too much time and energy invested in this. We had planned to spend the night at my parents house in Salado and then go to the start from there. We considered staying in a hotel closer to the start, but ultimately decided that we could get there from Salado without a problem.

I had driven to the start when I went down to get my race number and chip and it took about 45 minutes to get there from Salado. We (Regina, Drew, and I) left Salado about 5:00 am to give ourselves plenty of time to get there. I wanted to be at the start by 6:15 (for a 7:00 am start). Well, between the weather and a wrong turn (don't ask) we got within about 2 miles of the start by 6:15. Traffic- the one factor I didn't account for (file that away for next time). About 6:30, I got out and started stretching along the side of the road while Regina kept inching along on the road. About 6:45, with the entrance to the starting area almost in sight, I decided I should heading that way on foot. I came across a cop who was directing traffic and he said the start had been pushed back to 7:30 due to weather. What a relief! So, I backtracked a little and found Regina and got back in the warmth of the car. Then, at 7:15, I decided to travel on foot again as Regina inched along. I thought we might get to the parking area in time, but I didn't want to risk it. Turns out Regina and Drew did make it to the start, but they were looking for me on the right and I was looking for them on the left. Oh, well...

Yes, it was cold. About 28. I ran in shorts, but started out with a hat, gloves, a trash bag, and some old socks that I cut the toes out of and fashioned into sleeves so that I could get rid of them along the way. It's amazing what some people will just toss along the course as they heat up. Someone tossed a finisher's jacket from last year's marathon. I thought about picking that one up. Onto the actual run...

Mile 1- 9:23:
The start is very crowded. It starts on the Freescale site and it's basically on a narrow two lane road for almost half a mile, so you're just trying to stay upright for that part (which some people failed to do as they hit some ice in the gutters). It then fans out onto half of a wide 6 lane street and you have some running room. I started out with the 3:45 pace group thinking I could hang with them. (More on that later.)

Mile 2- 8:41:
I was still getting warmed up here, but did trash the trash bag somewhere during this mile. It was cold, but my body was warming up now. I did feel a little tightness in my hamstring which worried me. (I'd been having some problems for about a week and a half and had been getting treatment for it, so I was worried about that going in.) Not enough to hurt, but just enough to remind me that it was there and that it could inflict great pain at any moment. It didn't slow me down, though.

Mile 3- 8:19:
Cruising along with the 3:45 pace group, feeling good. There are some uphills in this section, but no big deal compared to the hills of Woodway.

Mile 4- 8:17:
It flattened out in this section. I still felt good and was pleased that my pace was fairly even over the last 2 miles. Somewhere around here, I started running with Andy. I guess he was bit behind me because I had taken my "sleeves" off and he wanted to know how I took my long sleeve undershirt off while running and keeping my other shirt on. I assured him that I wasn't that coordinated and told him about my sock/sleeves.

We started talking and running together. It was nice to have someone to talk to and we were running about the same pace. Like me, his goal was 4 hours, but he also thought he could run in the 3:45-3:50 range. He was more successful than me. (At least I assume that's him- he's the only Andy from Chicago that finished.)

Mile 5- 8:14:
Buoyed by running with someone, and a little downhill, we run this one under the 3:45 pace (which would be about 8:30 per mile). We actually leave the 3:45 pace group behind, as they tend to walk (or slow down significantly) through the water stops.

Mile 6- 8:15:
More smooth downhill. By this point, I know that Andy is from Chicago and actually used to work at the Freescale site back when it was Motorola. Not sure what else to say.

Mile 7- 8:38:
Another long uphill, hence the slower pace, but we pass through the 10 km point at a 8:35 pace. I was still feeling good and the hamstring actually started loosening up. I think the uphilll helped stretch it out. Uphills actually feel good every now and then, as they require some different muscles.

Mile 8- 8:28:
We passed the arboretum during this mile and there were big crowds there. It's a huge boost to hear people cheering you on. Your name is printed on the bib, along with the number, so people call you by name. (I think they should print the name bigger than the number, though. They don't really use the number for much anyway, since all your info is associated witt the chip.) I had on a Baylor shirt, so I got a few Go Bears or Sic' em Bears. That was nice, too.

Mile 9- 8:16:
We went under MoPac and I recognized part of this section from the half marathon I did in Austin several years back. This is just east of the Arboretum and is a nice area to run in. This was mostly downhill and we had obviously picked up the pace.

Mile 10- 8:14:
A quicker pace still, and we were still feeling good, so we were able t pick it up a bit. Not too much to look at here as it went by a UT research center and through an industrial area.

Miles 11&12- 16:54:
I remember seeing the marker for 11, but I guess I just zoned out and forget to hit the split timer on my stop watch. Anyway, we were still running about 8:30 splits and felt good. Just before mile 12, Regina and Drew were waiting to cheer me on. That revived me a little to see them and they encouraged me to push on. Here's a pic Regina took of me (that's Andy in the background). I think I surprised her a bit when I ran up to her and gave her a kiss.

Mile 13- 8:35:
Almost halfway! Still feeling good. Nothing hurts too badly. My hamstring's still a little tight, but it's manageable.

Mile 14- 8:25:
I made it throught the halfway point in 1:53:45. This seemed like a reasonable pace and well under the pace for my 4 hour goal. This section (and the next few miles) were pretty quiet, through some residential areas.

Mile 15- 8:32 &
Mile 16- 8:36:
At this point, I'm really pleased that I'm still hitting my splits in the 8:30 range. I'm still feeling good and my hamstring has actually stopped bothering me at this point.

Mile 17- 8:59:
There was a pretty brutal uphill just at the end of mile 17. It really started to take it out of me. Andy stuck with me but I could tell he was feeling stronger than I was. I was still feeling good, just not quite as strong.

Mile 18 & 19- 18:35:
The pace continues to slip, but I still feel pretty good. I think most of the slow-down came on mile 19. When I saw the 18 mile point, for some reason I was thinking that it was just a 10k after that. I quickly realized that would actually come at mile 20, but I think it distracted me enough that I forgot to hit the split timer.

It was at this point that when people started yelling at me that I looked good, that I tended to doubt them. Or maybe I looked better than I felt. I also lost Andy in here somewhere. We got separated at a water stop and he was a bit ahead of me, but I made my way back to him. He was getting his MP3 player back out, so I figured that couldn't be a good sign- he knew he would be leaving me behind soon. At the next water stop, we got separated again and I couldn't catch up with him again.

One thing to stuck out at me- We passed the state cemetery during this section. What a depressing place to be buried (or to know you will be buried there eventually). It looked like the type of field that you would see at a school that's not very well cared for. No trees. No paths. Just random headstones scattered about. I hope I don't end up there.

Mile 20- 11:02:
Regina and Drew surprised me at a water stop during this mile. I was expecting to see them a bit later. I was also stopping to use the facilities at this water stop (see the pic in her post below), so I talked to them for a few seconds as I waited for a port-a-can to become available. That's part of the reason for the slow split. As she noted, she was worried about me at this point. But I press on...

Mile 21- 9:35:
It was nice to get to a part of Austin that I recognized. This went through the UT campus and then up the capital building. I also started running with a lady for a few miles here. She happened to be free from Chicago, too. Didn't catch her name, though.

I was actually quite pleased with this split, even though it was well below the pace I wanted to run. As we passed the football stadium, we started a brutal uphill section that ended at the capital. I think that was the beginning of the end, though...

Mile 22- 9:27:
We ran around the capital (the long way- it sure was tempting to take a shortcut across!) and headed down Congress as we left the capital grounds. The only reason my time was this good was becuase it was downhill and it was downtown, so there were lots of crowds cheering you on. That got my adrenaline going again a little bit.

Mile 23- 10:56 (ugh!) &
Mile 24- 12:14 (bigger ugh!) &
Mile 25- 10:39:
This section was along the north side of Town Lake on 1st St. It was an out & back, almost 2 miles each way, with hills. By this point, my body was shot. I was struggling with just about every step. Regina and Drew met me each way and that helped a ton. I expected to see more spectators (since you could see people twice), on this section, but there weren't really that many along here. I had to stop and walk a few times on the uphill sections. Finally, I got to the turnaround at about mile 24. I was in the home stretch now, but it was by no means over.

I saw Drew and Regina just before the 25 mile marker and Drew ran with me for a little while (pic in Regina's post below). That was a huge boost. Thanks Drew! I joked with Drew that he could run the rest for me and carry my shoe across so the timing system would pick up my chip. He didn't seem to want to do that, though.

Mile 26- 9:49:
At this point, I knew that I was getting perilously close to being out of reach of 4 hours, judging from last few splits. I knew that I would be really mad at myself if I did all that work and I ended up finishing in 4:01 (or, even worse, 4:00:01), so I managed to pick up the pace ever so slightly, despite the muscles in my legs twitching. But I was starting to hear the music at the finish line and I could see the tents and stuff just across the river.

.2 mile 26.2- 1:43 (about an 8:45 pace):
Now it's just across the river, turn the corner and the finish line will be in sight. I was sure I could make it under 4 now. It was just a matter of making it to the finish. I did and it was a wonderful feeling, despite the pain and all the hard work.

I accomplished something that, statistically, very few people do. Yes, I'm still sore, and may be for a few more days, but it's over and I can enjoy it now.

I wanted to say a special thanks to Regina and the kids for putting up with the running, especially the long Saturday runs, and all the stinky clothes hanging around the bathroom. And thanks to "my" trainer, David, for all the advice and treatment he's offered me.

My dad asked me yesterday afternoon if I wanted to do another one. At this point, I don't know. Regina says that's like asking a woman when she's going to have another baby just after giving birth. The pain hasn't subsided enough to make that determination. Only time will tell, but I can always say I've finished one (or will it be my first?)...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Race: My perspective

Picture this. It is 4:40 a.m. It's 27 degrees outside and there is ice on the road. Mark, Drew and I brave the cold, get out of our cozy bed in Salado and head to Austin for THE RACE! The race started late because of the weather. Thank goodness since we were backed up in traffic when the race was originally set to start. Mark had to jog to the start because we didn't think we'd make it. We missed Mark as he crossed the start line. There were a gazillon people all clumped together. We did get to see him in four different spots. I actually found my way around Austin but only by the grace of God!
Drew's favorite picture is when we caught Mark making a pit stop. Mark was feeling the pain at this point and I was a little worried about him. He was able to block out the pain and keep moving. I think it helped that so many spectators were calling him by name and cheering him on. It's a pretty cool idea to have the runners name on their number. Drew and I had a great time cheering for complete strangers!!!

There always has to be a funny guy or two in races likes these. We saw two Elvis impersonators and this pretty little ballerina boy. Looks like this guy must be very comfortable with his manhood or he's given up on it!

Towards the end, Mark was looking sad so Drew decided to run along side of him (which meant that I needed to try to keep up with them too, ha,ha) The last few miles of the race had some hills. Not nice after you've run your buns off!!! Mark did a great job. We are all proud of him! I just hope he can get out of bed sometime before he has to go to work on Tuesday.

I finished!

I don't feel like typing much right now. I'll give you all the details later, but I finished under my goal time of 4 hours....


I tried doing an audioblog right after the race so I wouldn't have to type at all today, but it didn't work. I may have done something wrong since I still wasn't thinking straight at that point.

More to come- maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


I was hoping I could get away without doing this, but Jeff tagged me. I was going to pretend I didn't see it since I don't normally check his blog. He never updates, you know. But, he asked, and I didn't really feel like I could lie to him, since, you know, he's a "minister" and a "reverend" of some sort. (Did you get that from the back of Rolling Stone?) Anyway, here goes...

1. All the Star Wars movies
2. Caddyshack (but not Caddyshack 2- one of the worst movies ever!)
3. Fletch
4. The Gods Must be Crazy

1. The Bible
2. The Chronicles of Narnia
3. Harry Potter books
4. Green Eggs & Ham (for a while I did read it over and over!)

1. Corpus Christi, TX
2. Waco, TX (notice the cute girl checking out the otters)
3. China Spring, TX
4. Woodway, TX
(I really get around, don't I?)

1. The Office
2. Without a Trace
3. CSI (all varieties from time to time, but mostly Miami)
4. Amazing Race

1. Boston, Mass
2. Cruise the Caribbean
3. Washington, DC
4. Europe

1. google
2. espn
3. Drudge
4. Cliff's Blog (to see what his latest obsession with Steve is)

1. Italian
2. Chinese
3. Ice Cream
4. Good ol' greasy burger (preferably Dubl'R)

1. at the end of my marathon
2. hibernating in bed (Regina put that- sounds like a good place to be with her- except for maybe the hibernating part)
3. Jamaica
4. mountains of Colorado

I'll save others from being tagged and skip this part...

Monday, February 13, 2006

My gift to Regina

I feel as though I have been forced to respond. In response to Regina's post about conversation hearts, Brittney gave me all kinds of gift ideas for Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, she didn't do this until Sunday afternoon and she also didn't help me out by telling me where I might actually purchase this stuff.

Elizabeth, however, went the extra mile and actually sent me to ebay with a gift idea. She also found a "heartmaker" site that she passed along to Brittney, who then passed it onto me.

After all this build-up, I really feel like the pressure is on to get Regina something good for Valentine's Day. I'll be the first to tell you that gift-giving is not one of my love languages. Luckily, receiving gifts is not one of Regina's, either. (Or maybe it is and I've been in big trouble for 11 1/2 years!!!) I guess I'll have to work extra hard this year. (Too bad Conor didn't pick up an extra pair of those groovy socks.)

The thing with the hearts is that she just really likes to eat them. (Or maybe I'm just trying to convince myself of that since I never thought to buy her anything like the stuff Brit found.) The bath confetti might be nice and the kids would eat the pez. The barrett would actually look cute in Lindsay's hair. Maybe I'll get her some of those cookies. I bet she'd share...

Anyway, Regina, since I can't buy you 1.6 million hearts with custom messages, here are some you can look at while you eat the boring store-bought ones. You can pretend these messages are printed on there...

(Perhaps Regina can expand on this in a different post, but she actually tried to get people to call her Gina for a short while. It didn't work.)

And happy 11.5th (or however you would write that) anniversary!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Joke of the Day

What do you get when you cross an asthmatic, a violin and ESPN?

A very strange rendition of "Mississippi Hot Dog" (and a weird picture)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Conversation Hearts

As Mark mentioned last year on this very blog, I have a love for Necco brand conversation hearts. I've always loved those little things. I am not much of a chocolate fan but I can put those little fat free, sodium free puppies away! It is true that I stock up on them after Valentine's day and store them in my freezer for enjoyment year round. This year might be different because we no longer have an extra freezer in the garage.

This year I have done a little research on this delightful confectionery. Did you know that Necco will make 8 BILLION of those hearts this year? The small hearts have 3 calories, 6 for the bigs ones. There are 10 new sayings added each year. You can buy an entire production with 80 customized saying for a mere $7,000. That is 6 flavors AND your own words on 1.6 Million hearts. Did you hear that Mark!!! You are limited to two four letter words on the small hearts and two five letter words on the big hearts. I have already begun my list: More Harts, Only 3cal, UMak Dinnr, Taxi Lady, NeedA Brake, Date Pleze, Plan Trip, Hire Help, Need Sleep. I'd love to hear your suggestions. I am the only one who likes these things? The only flavor I do not like is the green one. What flavor is that anyway?

Edit by Mark: I've added the obligatory links and yes, you've told me that I could buy you $7,000 worth of hearts. Sadly, though, we didn't win the lottery, so they will have to wait. And, since I wrote about these last year, we've officially been doing this for a year. The inaugural post was on February 7, 2005 (remember to translate the names).

Thursday, February 02, 2006

School gear

When I was in elementary school in the 70's, we didn't have the fancy stuff that kids have today. I had a simple backpack and my violin. My prized possession was my metal Bee Gee's lunch box. I thought that was fancy. I remember the worse part of the school year was winter because the mornings were always cold and the afternoons were warm. I never liked having to carry my coat home in the afternoon. I don't know why that made such an impression.

I was waiting to pick Drew up from school the other day and I couldn't stop laughing as all the kids passed by me with their rolling backpacks, violins, coats and shaggy hair (that's a whole other post). They looked like miniature pilots about to board a plane. What could a 3rd grader have to tote home that they need wheels?

We got home and I investigated. This is what I found in Drew's backpack. As I expected, he needed the big backpack to get his football to school for recess. The boy knows what he needs!

At the beginning of the year, both boys wanted new backpacks for school. I gave them the lecture about how Americans are very wasteful and that we buy just because the stores tell us we need more. Their backpacks would have to do for now. They were disappointed but seemed to learn a lesson. Much to my disappointment, both of their backpacks broke the second week of school and I had to buy new ones for them! So much for the lesson. Maybe our lesson should have been on the importance of quality of materials and craftmenship instead!

Are you sure it's Winter, Mom?

We went to the zoo today. The weather was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Lindsay and her friend MacKenzie had a great time. Lindsay kept asking if it is winter. It's hard to explain to a four year old. She is learning about snowflakes and talking about Frosty and at the same time she is peeling off her clothes because she is sweating!!
The girls spent a lot of time playing on the underwater slide with the otters! That slide is so cool! If you haven't been to the zoo lately, you need to visit. It's a wonderful time of year for it! This summer will be MUCH too hot!