The F- Word

64-IMG_20130922_080233_734-1

Yesterday marked the beginning of a new season. If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter for 30 seconds lately, there isn’t a doubt in my mind you’ve heard this particular season was just around the corner. Those dreaded PSL (Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, for those who wisely avoid Starbucks) mentions, UGG boot sightings, and chatter about crisp, cool mornings. All things reminiscent of that F- word, otherwise known as…

Fall.

Since it’s only mid-September, the southern half of the US still has no idea what it’s like to wear long-sleeves or have the desire to go apple picking. I mean, my damn A/C has the electric bill jacked up over $200 and as much as I love seeing Sam Adams Octoberfest in the grocery store, I can’t justify drinking it while sweating. As far as the South is concerned, it’s still summer.

But you see, yesterday while walking out of the garage I felt a breeze cooler than 80 degrees. Hard to believe, but it was even cooler than 70.

Austin Weather

We’ve been hitting the pavement at 4am during the week and the lowest I’ve seen was 75 (and that was with 90% humidity) so this was basically a gift from heaven that didn’t require an absurdly early wakeup call.

IMG_20130922_100324

The dogs have been running every mile with us and yesterday the plan was to tackle 5 miles with a double out-and-back, which allowed for a swim break at the halfway point. Probably not 100% necessary since the weather was gorgeous but Bo (who hasn’t run 5 miles in 3+ years) definitely picked up the pace on the back half of the run.

26-IMG_20130922_084639_690

It was a quiet morning and the miles were easy. Sox’s head was on a constant swivel since she had never been on the trail before and had to see EVERYTHING, so keeping her focused was interesting. Running in a straight line apparently isn’t something she’s interested in learning quite yet.

25-IMG_20130922_084008

63-IMG_20130922_084316_903-1

Once our miles were done, we spent an hour at Auditorium Shores so the dogs could play and swim a little. Well, Bo did most of the swimming. Sox paced up and down the shoreline a couple hundred times trying to decide if she wanted to get her feet wet. And then…

“Hey Bo … come closer. I want to play.”

49-IMG_20130922_091501_877

“Closer. You’re still too far away.”

50-IMG_20130922_091504_321

“Fine, I’ll come to you.”

51-IMG_20130922_091506_131

“Oh SHIT, I’m going to die!”

52-IMG_20130922_091508_211

“How do I swim?! I’m going to die.”

53-IMG_20130922_091509_872

“I hate you guys. I can’t believe you just sat there and took pictures.”

54-IMG_20130922_091511_576

Needless to say, she didn’t spend a lot of time in the water after that.

55-IMG_20130922_091909_12060-IMG_20130922_094406_191

Sunday morning got me pretty pumped for fall, but my hopes and dreams were crushed when I saw this week’s forecast:

September Austin Weather

Rude. Just rude.

Welp, that brief glimpse was glorious, but fall is still a mythical creature I’m waiting to encounter. And hopefully sooner than later.

That damn F- word.

ZOOMA Texas Girlfriends Program

ZOOMA-Texas-GF-Program

A few weeks ago Tricia posted about a program for beginning runners and those looking to get back into the sport after time off. One of my co-workers had just started the Couch to 5K program so I passed on the link to her. She submitted an application, went through the interview process, and shortly after was accepted into the program!

Another post from Tricia caught my eye: the program’s need for mentors. The thought of being able to help someone get to the finish line of their first 5K or half marathon is something I definitely would love to do. I sent in an email expressing my interest and was interviewed soon afterwards.

Last weekend I was selected as a mentor for the ZOOMA Texas Girlfriends Program! I am so excited – this is such an incredible opportunity!

Thursday night was the kickoff party at Bettysport.

All photos courtesy of Endurance Isn’t
Only Physical’s Facebook page
.
Thanks Tricia!

391856_280563575329226_162515737134011_847510_1284129869_n

Contrary to what this photo displays, we were NOT being anti-social. Germain and I were reviewing the training schedule Tricia had sent out.

392677_280563655329218_162515737134011_847511_1247539500_n

Everyone mingled and checked out some of Bettysport’s apparel and accessories.

390916_280563725329211_162515737134011_847512_2092922679_n

There were complimentary shoe fittings and gait analysis.

394395_280563785329205_162515737134011_847514_2019288136_n

Then we went around the room and shared our running stories.

381530_280563871995863_162515737134011_847515_280781643_n

388507_280564105329173_162515737134011_847518_1170379690_n

I’m Italian, I talk with my hands.

382685_280564168662500_162515737134011_847519_1108407646_n

391948_280564208662496_162515737134011_847520_1336481677_n

This little girl was cracking me up!

386388_280564511995799_162515737134011_847526_468512523_n

388858_280574008661516_162515737134011_847555_1798912474_n

Hearing everyone’s stories, from both mentors and beginners, was so inspiring.

Afterwards Tricia introduced each runner to their mentor and we chatted a bit to get to know one another. I was paired a woman determined to complete her first half marathon. I am so excited for her and can’t wait to help her achieve this goal!

As we were heading out of the party, we were each given a swag bag. Mine included a sweatshirt, towel, and water bottle.

IMG_1288


Saturday morning a handful of us met up at Luke’s Locker downtown for our first run. It was short 3 miler on Town Lake to get a feel for where our mentees are running-wise. Leslie and I covered 3 miles in roughly 36 minutes, which was awesome! She hadn’t run in two months and I think she was happy with her performance that morning.

We parted ways after the group run was done and I set out on my own for a few more miles. I had 8 miles scheduled on the training plan but I also had a 5K the following morning. I did a 4 mile loop and called it a day at 7 miles.

I’m really excited for the ZOOMA Girlfriends Program! It’s so refreshing to spend time with a group of women passionate about running. I’m looking forward to spending the next few months getting to know everyone.

I’ve also applied to be an Ambassador for ZOOMA Texas! I’ll hopefully be interviewing for the position this week and will find out on December 23rd if I made the cut. Wish me luck!

Hot & Steamy 9

Saturday morning my alarm went off at 4:15 and I promptly hit snooze. Or so I thought. I actually shut the alarm off and didn’t wake up until nearly 6:00.

Whoops.

The plan was to be running by 5:30, so we would have been nearly 90 minutes behind schedule by the time we hit the trail. After a quick text exchange with Carly, we decided to move the run to Sunday. Again. Back to bed we went.

I had three alarms set for this morning to ensure history wouldn’t repeat itself. Of course, I woke up on my own two minutes before the alarm went off. When I finished getting ready and walked out of my bedroom, there was Carly, explaining she had overslept. Clearly us cheetahs love our sleep.  After getting our stuff together, we headed out.

IMG_0555

When we arrived at Town Lake at 5:30, the air was already exceptionally warm and thick with humidity. We were going to have our work cut out for us.

IMG_0539

Our pacing for the past two long runs was all over the charts, and felt the best way to remedy this was to run 3:1 intervals. And stop to take pictures.

IMG_0542

The intervals worked out really well, and although our average pace was slow (13:08) it was MUCH more consistent than our past runs. Thankfully it was very overcast this morning, but it was still hot as hell. We attempted countless photo ops together, but both looked like we were about to drown in our own sweat and die. Rather than subject you to trainwreck pictures, we stuck with scenic shots.IMG_0549

IMG_0544

IMG_0545

IMG_0550

IMG_0551

One hour and fifty-eight minutes later, our nine mile run was complete. Next week, we’re officially in double digits – TEN!

tweet

Our day now consists of inhaling mimosas, bagels and screwdrivers

IMG_0556

watching mindless TV

IMG_0563

and napping on and off.

IMG_0559

Pork is in the crockpot for pulled pork sandwiches tonight, and the house smells like heaven.

IMG_0558

Perfect day? I think so.

Running this town

It’s hard to believe with all the races we’ve completed, Carly and I have ran only two of them together. And we’ve never ran together purely for fun or during training season.

Until this morning.

4am came early, but we sucked it up and were on our way downtown by 5. On the schedule was 7 miles and we were determined to make it happen.

IMG_0474

IMG_0465

Runtex has a couple water stops set up on the Town Lake Trail, and we were more than appreciative.

IMG_0456

IMG_0458

Those dark circles are mucho attractive. So are my geriatric shoes.

IMG_0468

IMG_0470

IMG_0471

IMG_0473

IMG_0467

IMG_0475

IMG_0476

7 miles = done! I’m not even going to tell you how long it took us, but I will say we took walk breaks often. No need to go hardcore on our first “longer” run. (Paula, I know your “short” run was twice the distance of our “long” run haha) We pushed it pretty hard while we ran, and recovered with short spurts of walking.

Of course afterwards, we were dying to have caffeine pump through our veins. The plan was to hit up Whole Foods, but they weren’t open yet when we got there. We headed across the street to Starbucks.

IMG_0478

And then back across the street to Whole Foods.

IMG_0480

We were all set on coffee; now it was time for FOOD!

IMG_0484

Eggs benedict, four cheese quiche, and hash browns.

IMG_0487

The heat wasn’t too unbearable yet so we snagged a table in the shade outside on the patio.

IMG_0486

Heavenly!

IMG_0488

We were on a mission: purchase two bottles of Argentinian wine, two delicious cheeses to enjoy later this afternoon, and boniato for our international cuisine night tomorrow.

Cheetahs rejoiced and danced through the aisles of the wine section.

IMG_0490

Can we move in here?

IMG_0489

We quickly decided on two bottles of wine … and then grabbed an extra for tonight, of course.

IMG_0503

For cheese, we went with a Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar, and Capricho de Cabra with Fine Herbs.

IMG_0502

Unfortunately, Whole Foods didn’t carry boniato so we had to venture to somewhere less exciting: Fiesta.

IMG_0493

An employee found it pretty amusing that we were snapping photos in the parking lot.

Guy: Are you taking pictures of Fiesta?

Me: Um, yes, it’s our first time here!

Guy: Oh, well it’s not that exciting…

Once inside we made a beeline to the produce, and look what Mr. Produce man was restocking: boniato! They must have known we were coming…

IMG_0494

Carly’s getting ready to jump in there

IMG_0497

And I present to you, boniato!

IMG_0499

After all of this, we were home by 9:30. Talk about a productive morning! Now we’re foam rolling, icing, hydrating, and lounging comfortably on the couch. Well deserved relaxation after killing our 7 mile goal this morning!

Did you run/race today? How did it go?