Monday, May 31, 2010

Head Down Skills Camp

Okay, I didn't do much running this weekend. Yeah, not so much at all. I was going to run on Friday morning, but Jules canceled on me. And by that time, I was so busy getting everything done before I left for Dallas.

This weekend, I was at another dropzone, Skydive Dallas for the first time. Yes, that's beer that I owe and paid to them. It was the Head Down Big Way Skills camp organized and captained by Brandon Chouinard, Ryan Risberg, Brad Cole, and Skydive Houston's Simon Bones. This camp is in preparation for the Texas Vertical State Record held on July 4, 2010, which I'm wanting really bad to get invited.

What an awesome weekend and what a workout for the legs, butt, and arms. My neck and back were sore, too. Just for fun and a warmup to the camp, I did two jumps on Friday. I was on my head for the first jump and in my sitfly for the second jump, but only because the formation was really slow. I was on my head for six jumps on Saturday and four jumps on Sunday (supposed to be six, but we got put on a weather hold), which is quite a bit of work on the body. I was moving, too.

For this camp, I worked on levels, track off, diving, and docking. I only docked twice on the last jump on Saturday. I was tired by that point and they just weren't clean and smooth. But I at least touched them. By the last jump on Sunday, I was there, but I ran out of altitude. I was finally in the zone (something I worked on all weekend and just couldn't get). I didn't have a whole lot of noise in my legs and arms, which is awesome. I just wished I had more altitude.

It was a mental barrier for me since these were the largest formations that I have ever participated in on my head. The largest one that I did was a 22-way. Yeah, that was awesome and intense, but I loved every minute of it.

I really need to get more aggressive and seriously work on my track away from the formation so that it's not dangerous. So, I'm working on this by the next camp held at Skydive Houston during the Heat Waves boogie on June 18-20, 2010.

Tomorrow we run for sure.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chi Running

So, I was reading Houston's Living Magazine and I came across an article about Chi Running. This guy named David Dreyer used T'ai Chi training to help with his running. He used the principals of breathing and the core to make for an easier and painfree run. I like the concept and might even try this one day. It makes perfect sense to me, but I'm just new to this whole running thing.

On a side note, I realized that I was spelling T'ai Chi wrong. I changed it on the other posts.

Recap for the David Hartsock Fundraiser

I just wanted to give a shout out to everyone that spread the word and donated. We didn't reach our goal of $50,000, but we got pretty darn close. We raised a total of $48,245. That is awesome. Plus, Dave got a 55 Inch brand new Visio television and money was sent to either Skydive Houston or Dave's house. We probably did reach our goal, we just don't know yet.

A check (very big check) will be presented to Dave at the Heat Waves Boogie at Skydive Houston. Steve Hartman from CBS News (the guy that really made all of this happen) is supposed to come out and report on the check presentation. I hope you all can join us.

Marathon in the Hawaiian Islands

Um...beautiful island. Check. Awesome weather. Check. Running with such amazing, why are you even asking me? Yesterday, Jodi found this Honolulu Marathon on the internet. It's December 12, 2010. I won't do a full marathon (Jodi might), because I have my half marathon the following month. Plus, I kindof want to pop my cherry for the longest that I have ever run at the Houston Chevron Marathon. Call me traditional, but I want to keep it at home. But this marathon has a 10K that you can participate in, which would be perfect. Higdon does want me to do a 10K before my half marathon albeit three weeks before, but I will take it where I can get it.

So, who's with me?

I found this site, which tells more about what goes on at this marathon. The website listed above isn't updated just yet, but I'm sure it will be soon.

Never Underestimate the Power of Walking

Or at least that's what Amy said to me to make me feel better, because I was too hungover to run on my birthday.

Jules and I hit the park and for once, I was the motivator. I was just like Jodi only slightly less evil. Well, maybe. We are still working on getting Jules' endurance up, which is alright, because I was there, too. She hasn't been out with Jodi and I as much, so it's totally understandable. She ran farther than she has ever done and we hit two miles. So, kudos for her. We did some stretching, walked to warmup, ran when we hit the 1 mile marker, and walked/ran the entire time until we reached the 1 mile marker again. I did understand what Jodi has said to me the other day about when you start running longer distances, running two miles will be like no big deal and you will feel like you didn't do anything. Not that I didn't break a sweat or felt like I exercised, but man, I felt like I could do more. So, that was a pretty awesome experience for me. I could actually feel myself getting stronger and more adapted to this whole running thing. But I'm not going to sugarcoat this one, it was hot. The summer is coming and it doesn't make me look forward to longer runs at 6 p.m.

But the best part of me realizing that I am getting in to this whole running thing, my husband was massaging my upper thigh (out of nowhere) last night on the couch. He initiated the walk over to where I was without me saying a word. He said, "You are a runner now and I have to massage out the soreness for you." Who knew that would get me massages from my husband. I would have started this WAY sooner.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 25, 2010

Holy Snikes Batman! I am patting myself on the back for this day's workout. I mean, compared to other runners out there training for a marathon, this is no big deal. But for me, it's a HUGE deal. And what do you think that is? Well, I ran a whole two miles without stopping. I don't think I've ever ran a full two miles PERIOD.

And we just didn't run 2 miles; we ran alittle over 2 miles (maybe 2.2 miles). It was awesome and I felt really good about myself. Then, we walked to make it a total of three miles for this workout. Kudos to me. See picture above. To make things even better for myself, we walked to the 1 1/2 marker to turn around (halfway of a mile) and I picked up the run from the turn of the track back to the 1 mile marker. Even though I was tired and my legs were jello, I still managed to run again. Our cool down was a walk back to the picnic tables to do some post workout stretching.

Tonight we run and I'm going to go for more than 2 miles again.

Also, the evil little fairy (Jodi) informed me on our run that I'm going to do three miles next week without stopping. Oh, she's so evil. Also, next week, we are going to hit up this trail run that I found in Cypress that's about five miles. The halfway turnaround point is at a cementary in the country. That's pretty cool. I mean I do like looking at the soccer players, but I can't wait for a change of scenery. I won't be running the full five miles, but I will walk the hell out of it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Birthday Weekend

I titled this as my birthday weekend, because well, my birthday was really all weekend even though it was Sunday. It started on Friday where I got my toe nails/nails did and my eyebrows waxed (birthday tradition) and then saw Train (my present to myself from myself) later that evening with Jodi. Oh and you can't forget the skydiving and partying I did all weekend long. But you don't want to hear about that, because this isn't a site on my life; it's a site on just the training part.

Friday, I was supposed to run in the morning. However, Jules and I didn't meet up due to us playing phone/email tag. I did wash the dishes, clean the kitchen counters, and do laundry. And I cleaned the RV when I got to the dropzone. By golly, that is arm exercising in my book and I count that as strength training.

Saturdays will always be my cross training day. May 22, I trained with my team, the SDH Outlaws and that is always an arm workout. We usually do 10 jumps a training day, but the winds were squirrelly and I got dropped onto my knees (no bueno). Consequently, we only did four jumps. I was totally bummed, because this was the first time in a long time where we had beautiful skies and my whole team ready to go all day long. And then later that evening, the male stripper had me dancing and moving around, which is more great exercise. That's right.

Sunday was a proud moment for me. I was hungover and had already stated (more like slurring) to Jodi that I wasn't going to run in the morning, because well, I was pretty "pickled." Yes, that's my new word that apparently is an old word to describe someone's drunkedness. I'm bringing it back. However, when the morning came around, I decided that I could in fact run albeit slower than usual and probably way more walking. Amy was there ready to run, but guess who we were waiting on? Jodi. Yes, she flaked and it wasn't even her birthday. So, it was just Amy and I. I told her that I may whine, I may bitch, and I may call you evil, but I don't mean it. Just deal with me and let it pass. She laughed at me and I knew this would be interesting. We took to the pavement in Waller with the morning heat already blazing down on us. Thank God there were lots of clouds. This was my first run at the dropzone and it was a nice 2.2 mile run that was discovered by Potter and IT. Although, I never saw the markers that they said were there. I ran a full mile before I had to stop for walking. I did pick up the running thing again, but it didn't last long at all. We walked all the way back to the dropzone, which was probably a half a mile. Amy and I had a great conversation about life and well, I got to know her a little bit better.

Afterwards, I was sweating like a pig and headed straight for the pool. I did some arm workouts and swam around with a three year old wild child we call Zaney (Amy's daughter). According to me, this counts for strength training. I did two jumps, which also counts even more and one was a wingsuit rodeo (that is way harder and longer). All in all, I did some pretty decent workouts for someone that planned to party and not exercise. Kudos to me.

Today, we rest and I need it. Tomorrow, we run again.

Friday, May 21, 2010

May 20, 2010

WOW! I am still alive after my big workout. It was just Jodi and I this time around and her plan was to make me run the full two miles. However, I had a not so great lunch, which included a pasta salad that weighed heavy on me literally. So, we did our walk until the 1 mile marker when we started to run. I felt like I was anchored to the track that included burping up that pasta salad, but I kept pushing on through like a champ. I told Jodi that I would make it to our normal tree marker before I would need to take a quick walk break. However, when I rounded the corner close to that tree, I knew I could keep on running. I would pick a marker ahead and then blow through it on to the next one.

We ran for about close to one and half miles before I had to take a break. Plus, Jodi was running out of things to talk about in order to distract me. We did a short walk before I picked it back up again. We did a quick run before I had to stop for a walk again. I guess the heat and the pasta just didn't make it easier or maybe I was just being a wuss. The walk didn't last long before we ran again and ran all the way to the 1 mile marker where we started. We ended with a high-five for a job well done to both us (okay, mostly for me) and began our walk back to the cars as a cool down. I am pretty sure I ran close to two miles without stopping (or that's what I am telling myself). We did some light stretching and headed on our way home.

A couple of weeks before my 5K.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 19, 2010

I finally got some running in and I didn't die. Although, there were plenty times where I thought I would, especially when Jodi (I deem the evil little fairy) says, "No, I said the marker over there by the parking lot WAY over there." Sheesh! But it felt good to get in some runs, especially dealing with the stress of the day and the upcoming stress I'm going to have to go through very soon.

J squared and I met up around...well, I have no idea what time it was. It was after 6 p.m. Jules and I did some stretching, but Jodi got there late. She opted out on doing stretching, which I warned her that that was not good at all. I decided to bring my Camelback full of water just in case I get dehydrated. I wanted to be prepared since I have been sick and really low on fluids. We are not in the cold months anymore. So, we walked our same area to warm up and then started to run once we hit the 1 mile marker on the track (doesn't mean we did a mile of walking). Jules lasted for alittle bit, but she is still dealing with her foot and couldn't keep up. Jodi and I kept on running, but we stopped ahead so that she can catch up and boy howdy does she catch up quick. Did I mention that she has a fast walk?

We walked some more and then started running, but Jules had to stop and we kept on going. However, this time, we went alittle bit further before we stopped to see where she was and if she could catch up. Unfortunately, she couldn't, so we started running again. I know, we are bad running partners.

So, Jodi and I ran and talked about our upcoming stuff (see below). We have the 5k on June 12, in which I was informed that I would be running it ALL without stopping. But this came after some confusion on my part, because I thought a 5K was 5 miles and not 3.1 miles. We also discussed the half marathon in which I found out that Jodi is going to leave me behind like the evil little fairy that she is so that she can complete the race in good time, but she will come back for me when she done. Okay, she won't totally leave me alone to fend for myself; she will stay with me probably for half of it. So, I really need to get my Ipod up and working with new musak and get an arm band.

By the way, I called her Evil Little Fairy the entire time that we were actually running. She understands and accepts it well.

We kept running for quite some time. We made it to that ellusive sign marker and stopped for a walk. Then, we picked it back up again to the building with the deck and then walked again. But we weren't stopping there. Our goal was to make it back around to that 1 mile marker from our warmup where we started. We picked it back up and ran all the way until we hit that 1. I'm pretty sure I ran over a mile and the total track time was roughly 2 miles give or take a quarter of a mile. Kudos to me! Our walk back to the picnic tables by our cars was the cool down and Jules was waiting for us to start our post-workout stretching. Jodi needed to get to her dogs, so there was no strength training or anything. Plus, it doesn't feel good to do all of that on the ground without a matt. We learned our lesson the first time. We did some light stretches and went home.

Tonight, we run again. Jules isn't joining us this time; so, it's just Jodi and I. She's going to hurt me, I can feel it. If you don't see a post from me tomorrow, please someone call Todd and my mother.

On a side note, I listed out our upcoming exercise big activities (let me know if you want to join any of of them with us):
1. Woodland's 5K series , June 12, 2010
2. Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure, October 2, 2010
3. Chevron Houston Half Marathon , January 2011
4. International Marathon of Marrakech, January 2012
5. MS 150, March 2013 (we so need time to train)
6. Triathalon, after 2014 (or whenever, because I haven't decided if this is what I want to do). Yes, Jodi now wants me to do this...I told you she was an evil little fairy. She will run, I will bike, and possibly Jules as the swimmer unless we find someone else more in to it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 18, 2010

Per Jodi's requirement, I was to do some type of Yoga or T'ai Chi video today in preparation for our run tomorrow and to get me energized after dealing with the food poisoning. So, I thought, what a great a time to open up that dusty copy of Sunrise T'ai Chi that I ordered a Ming Dynasty ago. It was the only video that got great reviews from beginners (me) and alittle above beginners (what I want to be). Now, I'm not a complete beginner going in to this not knowing what T'ai Chi is all about. I took T'ai Chi classes at 24 Hour Fitness a couple of years ago and LOVED it. I have a bad back and it was great for it, whereas Yoga made me sore for weeks. I really loved being at peace and moving through the body positions, while the instructor says, "pick up the ball." It's great for visualization and breathing...oh and strength. You never feel like you are doing a great deal of work until the end when you are beat down exhausted and sweating like a pig.

Consequently, I was really excited about finally watching and doing my video. I picked Sunrise, because my original goal was to do it at the dropzone before everyone woke up (I tend to wake up earlier than everyone, but not because I like to at all). However, it probably would have been better to get the Sunset T'ai Chi video since it's obvious that I'm more likely to do this at home after work. I can't get up any earlier than I already do during the week and there is no sunlight.

The guy on the video said it was okay to do this at sunset, as well as in a house as long as there is light shining through. I mean really, how are people supposed to check this video out in the middle of a park unless their laptop is fully charged? Do they even have a laptop?

I popped in the video and clicked PLAY ALL. Big mistake. Immediately, it took me to the guy on the cover just doing the T'ai Chi moves over and over without saying a word. I wasn't sure if I was to follow him or what. This went on for about 10 minutes. I eventually started copying the moves, but it's hard whenever you don't know them and you can't focus on the visualization or breathing. Then, the video went into the very long breathing sections without really saying anything. The major problem that I had with this video is that there was little to no instruction; there were sometimes where he moved to the next position without saying a word. It's kindof hard to know you have moved on when you have your eyes closed. After about 30-35 minutes of stretching and breathing, I started to get impatient about not doing ANY T'ai Chi moves like what I saw in the beginning. I went back to the Scene Selection part to just select a workout. I chose the 20 minute workout since I had already been at this for over half an hour. It basically did exactly what I just did only faster. At the very end, we finally got to the do those T'ai Chi moves, but still with no instruction on what this is, where to place my feet, or any kindof visualization to help me out.

I was disappointed. The Instructor in those classes that I took really broke down the moves one by one and then at the end, we put them all together as one fluid motion (similar to what this guy did at the beginning and very end). We also did stretching and breathing exercises before and after. Next time, I will just select 20 minutes, 40 minutes, or 60 minutes workout instead of PLAY ALL. And hopefully, they will give more instructions in the other workouts than what I saw in the 20 minute workout. Oh and by the way, if you are wearing long, black, silky pants, we can't tell that you have your heels raised at all. Oh wait, you have an incline thing under your carpet to help you out. You should probably tell us video watchers that you have that instead of me trying to squat all the way down wondering if my feet are supposed to be flat or if I can angle them.

Now, I'm not saying that I didn't get a workout. I did. My legs actually feel alittle sore, but it wasn't what I was expecting.

Tonight, I'm back to running again with J squared. YAY!

And on a side note, Biggest Loser's Final Four contestants did a marathon last night on the show. I'm just doing a Half Marathon. My ego took a hit on that one, but it gives me (okay, really Jodi) hope that I will actually want to do a marathon after this whole thing. So, maybe the marathon in Morocco sounds like it might actually be a plan afterall.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Jodi and I are really serious about doing the Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure 5K run on October 2, 2010. I've donated alot to this race in the past, but never participated. And since my aunt (and my Lady loo loo) is a recent breast cancer survivor twice, I thought this would be a good run to do. So,

It would be awesome if you guys could join us as one big Skydive Houston group. I did set the total team donation high, but it can always be changed. Let me know if you want to participate or just sign up. Yes, it's on a Saturday.

In order for family, friends, neighbors & co-workers to register online on your team, have them:

1. Log on to
2. Click on “Race for the Cure”
3. Click on “Join an Existing Team” on the right hand side of the page
4. In the second gray box Search for team by entering in the name (It's Team Skydive Houston)
5. Follow registration process. The registration fee must be paid by credit card
Race day packet including Race bib and official Race t-shirt will be mailed directly to registrant free of charge.

May 12, 2010

I apologize to my faithful followers about not getting this out sooner. I got food poisoining on Wednesday evening and into early morning on Thursday. My sickness lasted until about Sunday when I felt okay to drive, go to the dropzone, and actually upgrade from soups to sandwiches. And no, I didn't jump. I'm still not 100% and it's Monday. Stupid Chef Ding Chinese food delivery. But the good news is...I'm well on my way (quickly) to losing weight. I am not sure how much I dropped, but I can see it already in my stomach. I guess going a couple of days with just crackers and a few spoonfuls of soup will drop that weight in no time. And I still haven't gotten up to a full meal just yet. Also, good boobs stayed in tack. Usually those are the first to go when you are losing weight. However, now everyone thinks I'm pregnant. I am not.

Wednesday started out as a good day. The week was getting more and more bleak that I was going to have to run on my own (hate it) or just blow off the week. Then, Jodi came a calling like a cowboy to a prosititute. We decided to meet up at Bear Creek Park again, but this time, we had a new addition. No, Amy has still not graced us with her presence, but my good friend, Jules did. She is a Firefighter and Skydiver and used to train for marathons, but hasn't ran in a long time (especially now since she has had major foot issues). Consequently, she fit right in. Eventually we will be a foursome (don't get any sick thoughts), but for now, we are truly a threesome.

I introduced Jules and Jodi (J'm working on it) and we got to our stretching. After the stretching, we started our warmup walk and then kind of gave Jules the rundown of what we do out here on this track. Pretty much, we are awesome and everyone around us bows at our Awesomeness. Wait, what? Who wrote that? It must have been some evil spirit that took over my body to type that to make me look bad, but it could happen. Our walk was alittle longer to get Jules used to everything. A soccer ball flew right by Jodi's head, but she survived. Then, we started to pick up the pace. It's still a light run for me and especially Jules. We didn't run a full mile all at once. This was more run, walk, run, walk, because we didn't want to leave Jules behind even though she begged us to. Most of the time, Jodi and I would run ahead of her and stop at a certain point. Jules would immediately catch up, because her walk is as fast or faster than our run. She's like a super walker. In the middle, I had to make a stop at the bathroom for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, the girls had to hear about my tummy issues of the day and then, I just had to show them proof. We needed something to talk about and I thought that a good long talk about poop would be the perfect way to blow through a mile and it was. We all had our takes on it. Turns out my issues were food poisoning, but I won't divulge anymore information.

After our emergency bathroom break, we started our walk back up again. Jodi and I ran to the deck to do our post workout stretching. For the last 100 ft or so of the run, we really picked up the pace. I was informed with no excitement from myself that this would be the pace that we use during the 5K. We will then pick up the pace even more for the half marathon. Jodi could be one of those evil trainers that I hate to love, but she's a damn fine motivator. Thank God, she is my friend first.

Our stretches lasted for about 10 minutes with this weird guy watching us. But we weren't done yet. We wanted to add strength training to our runs like the guide tells us too. So, with Jodi's martial arts background and my little stint in mixed martial arts, we just laid out some of our workouts that we used to do before we got to the actual sparring or training. Most of it was on memory, which you know what that means. "It's like this...wait, no it's like this. Now, follow me. I think we did this amount of time. What did I say again?" But we all learned a great deal of new ways to beef up our abs and endurance. Our next step is for Jodi and I to come up with a list of our workouts that we have used in the past and kind of pick the best ones. Then, we can rotate other ones in, because we don't want to kill ourselves doing everything. My workouts had more time, but less activities. Jodi's had less time, but way more activities. So, we are going to come up with something. I was hoping by tomorrow, but I doubt it. You know, I think I still have those videos from Bam Bam Martial Arts (great place to learn mixed martial arts in the Houston area by the way).

So, this week ended up being a total wash for me. Jodi and Amy ran on Sunday morning, which I didn't have the energy to participate. Our next planned run is tomorrow depending on my energy level. But I am pretty sure that I can at least walk if nothing else.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Skydiver Hero

I didn't train last night, because our great friend, David Hartsock (BrokeBack Dave or BBD) was on CBS National News last night for being a hero. Below is his story. Plus, Jodi and I are not running again until Thursday due to schedule conflicts. I will work on some videos this evening. Anyhoo.

Hartsock Fundraiser
The purpose of this fund raiser is to help a hero in need. On August 1, 2009 David Hartsock sacrificed his body on a tandem skydive. He did this so his student could live and he is now paralyzed. His home nursing care ended three weeks ago and our goal is to provide home health nursing to keep David in his home and out of a nursing facility. His perseverence during this struggling time has given many of his family and friends inspiration, but they all need your help. There are many expenses that we do not think about that come with home nursing care and those expenses can add up very quickly. In order for David to be taken care of, he needs professional, personal, and reliant care on a daily basis. His mother has worked nonstop to be there for him and given up everything to be by his side; she hardly rests and never sleeps. And it is the little things that keep her up at night, how will she shower David without help, change his clothes, or even help feed David? And those are only to name a few. This is the reality of the situation and the only way we can make an impact is to provide David and his family with professional full-time care. People could never imagine what it is like to be in David's position, but when we talk to David or visit him in the hospital or his home, his spirit radiates. The greatest gift another human can receive is the gift of life and he has selflessly given up his body so another may live. All donations are given to the family to help with David's care. God Bless.

Monday, May 10, 2010

On a side note

If Jodi and I like (okay, me, if I really like it) this half marathon thing, we have the International Marathon of Marrakech on our list to do in 2012 in freaking Morocco. For some, it's no secret that I want to go to Morocco and this would certainly be an awesome excuse to go. If you want to join us for the Houston Half Marathon or even this, just let me know.

May 8 and May 9, 2010

I'm going to combine these days in to one giant post for you to wade through. This weekend, Jodi, Jodi's boyfriend, and I went to the wind tunnel ( in Denver, Colorado. The wind tunnel simulates skydiving wihout actually having to jump from a plane (I'm used to saying this) and is used commonly by whuffos for a quick sensation of skydiving whereas skydivers use it as a tool for training to make us better. There were about 10 of us Skydive Houston people there and it was a fun time. Each of us bought an hour's worth of time, which is a lot.

May 8, 2010
Our first tunnel time was not until 7 p.m. on Saturday, so we decided to have some fun in Colorado. I blew out my favorite Lucky jeans, which was probably caused by my serious gas issues on Friday (damn wheat bagel and Chic-Fil-A). I thankfully brought another pair of pants, but my belly is so big right now and the pants are very tight. I mean it leaves an indention on my tummy. So, it was settled that I would get some new pants at the mall. Jodi and I had already planned on walking a mile for our Saturday workout and we thought that walking to the mall would be a perfect idea. It turned out to be longer than a mile and we were going up and down hills. I thought Jodi was going to run up a hill and roll down (I probably would have joined her), but every hill we saw was next to a road or a fence or a tree. Ouch! We stopped at this yoga store in the mall and they were having a free 50 minute yoga workout. Jodi and I said what the heck and joined in the fun. It was actually called Nia and combined elements of yoga, dancing, and martial arts. It was heavy on the dancing, light on the martial arts, and practically no yoga. We should have known something when they said that they were white belts and the one lady was going for her green belt. How do you jump belt colors?

It started out with a variation of yoga and we were like okay, this is interesting. Than it went to the dancing. Oh My God, the dancing. All I can say is, "Close the Car Door, Put the Plates Away, Pour in to the Chocolate, Chop the Carrots." I couldn't look at Jodi anymore, because she was making me laugh. The lady who I deemed Sexual Chocolate, because she was very sensual (and even admitted that she teaches very sensual) and there were about five moves that had someting to do with chocolate. Some of them I didn't understand like "Cinch the Chocolate". I kept thinking in my head, "How did these women get belts?" It was crazy. I barely felt like I exercised. All of the Instructors were doing something different and it was hard to follow. When we got to the free dance (with a designated finger...hard to explain without showing), I almost died laughing. One of the Instructors was going around the store dancing and shopping and this other Nia participant was jumping around like she had crack in her coco puffs that morning. By the time we got to the "martial arts," my foot was hurting and I was pretty much done with this Nia thing even though this part was the only time I felt like I was exercising. We thanked them for a Twilight Zone moment in our lives and left to join reality of life. Needless to say, it was a crazy experience that could only happen in Colorado.

Later on that day, we went to the Botanical Gardens and walked around. We stopped by the Cherry Creek National Park, but it was decided on a majority vote to go to the gardens. Jodi and I were interested in the shooting guns part, but ironically, the guys wanted to go to the gardens. Is that weird? I think so. We finally get there after weird directions and lots of traffic. It was National Garden Day, which meant that it was free to get in and totally packed.

Skydivers can make anything fun no matter what it is and probably be the most immature people ever. We are all big kids. So, we took pictures with weird statues with boobies, we got onto the rocks where it said stay on path, and Jodi's boyfriend pulled Jodi and I in the garden cart, while we did Choo Choo noises. It was a good time and I only mentioned the Botanical Gardens activity, because Jodi and I were walking. And yes, you guessed it, that's exercise (ding ding ding!) that we used for training for this marathon.

Finally, it was time for the tunnel. First session was seven and half minutes each and the second session was 15 minutes each. There are two minute rotations for each person (unless you have others join in your time) within the session. I know that doesn't seem like a lot to majority of the readers, but it's a workout. 15 minutes is like 15 skydives and actually doing two skydives together at one time (that's the two minutes). I put on my jumpsuit, which I could barely put on at all. I should have been embarrassed, but I accepted along time ago that I have gotten to Killer Whale size. Why be upset?! My jumpsuit fit okay the weekend before. So, I think it was the fact that I had washed it the night before, because it was easier to wear on Sunday. I had to take off my pants underneath so that I could make room. I was a little worried that I was going to have a blowout in the tunnel and then everyone (including kids) would see everything since I was wearing dental floss underwear.

I worked on my freeflying and really got to work on turning some points on my back, which not a lot of people can do. Our Instructor and my friend, Brad Cole, was taking it easy on me since he knew about my arm issue from the weekend before. It was actually kind of cool to do the things that I was doing instead of just doing one thing all the time until I was tired. About halfway through the second session, my arm started to throb and it just kept getting worse. I ended up not being able to the third session of 15 minutes. I was so bummed. But Brad wanted to save my arm for the next day. Afterwards, we went to the Fox and the Hound for some fun drinking. Well, some light drinking since we started after midnight and had to get up in the morning for more tunnel time. And while everyone was eating fried bar food, I had a turkey sandwich earlier that evening. We just won't talk about what I ate the night before. Don't be so quick to know ALL the details.

May 9, 2010
Today's tunnel started at 10 a.m. and we were ready. I was not going to participate, because my arm was hurting, but I wanted to real bad. So, I asked my husband, Todd's advice on whether it would be wise to continue today or just scratch the day. He said that it would be okay and just to quit when it gets bad. This time our Instructor was Scott L. who was awesome. The first and second sessions were 10 minutes each. Remember, that's 10 skydives if you weren't paying attention. I got to work on my head down, which was a major workout on the legs and arms and everything. My legs and arms are feeling it this morning. Unfortunately, my arm didn't last long. I went to my back and my belly, but nothing felt good. I did survive the rest of the 10 minutes, but I couldn't do the second session. This was another bummer.

After everyone was done, we said our goodbyes and rushed off to the airport. And walking in the airport is an exercise, as well. We were in Colorado and everything can be made into a workout. We saw Fast Andy's ancestor, White Andy, and had some drinks at the bar. Goodbye Colorado, but I will be back in July or August to redeem my 25 minutes of tunnel time.

I think the next time we run is on Thursday. Jodi is too busy and won't be able to go running until real late. Real late for me means I get less sleep at night since I wake up so early. As a result, I will be on my own doing video workouts.

Also, pictures will be up shortly as soon as I get them.

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7, 2010

Okay, so we decided not to do a run today since we are cross training in the tunnel on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I think I mentioned that in my last post, but just in case you forgot, there it is for you. Our intention was to do an ab workout this morning, which I faithfully did. I can't speak for Jodi, but she will hear it from me if she didn't.

Sadly, the first free video that I watched from the On Demand free workout videos was the 4th one in a series of 8. It was 20 minutes long and really just made me sweat. I guess if I had abs like the beautiful, bouncy blonde in the video, it might have been okay for me. However, I do not. I have a big, bouncy, gelatine tummy that resembles one of those sponges under the sea (no, not the sponges women use).

The second video was called Yoga Fit Abs and this is what I was looking for in a video. I wanted someone to work my abs into a frenzy where I'm screaming at the TV to hurry up to the next exercise. This video took a yoga stretch and then added an ab workout to it, while doing it free flowing and controlled. The best part was the girl was less annoying and she did yoga stretches in between the ab workout part. My tummy hurts, but at the same time, I'm not sore.

I tried to do just a yoga for beginners afterwards for more stretching. The video was cheaply done to where you can tell the lady (possibly she was an animation) was standing in front of a green screen with a Thailand beach type background. It was weird. So, I got to about the 2nd set of the yoga stretches when my husband opened the door with two dogs trying to mow me down. I survived the fact that my cat, Tucker wanted to be a part of my workout or just get me to stop and pet him, but I couldn't survive the Caliban. When she started barking uncontrollably and my husband sat down with his first diet coke, I decided to call it quits.

Next post will probably be on Monday with a summary of my entire tunnel time. Okay, a long summary. I will be with Simon and I'm sure I will have some interesting stories. I just have to make sure not to eat Gargonzola.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May 5, 2010

Jodi had to push the time back, which was not great for me, but I make do. I got there 20 minutes early, put the top down, watched the soccer players, and read my book that I'm trying to desperately finish before I get the new Charlaine Harris book hopefully today.

When she got there, we did some stretching. My muscles loved the stretching moreso yesterday than on Tuesday. We walked the first part to warm up our bodies and then we started to run (light run, not the prison rape type run...well, there wouldn't really be a prison rape type fast run, because seriously, where would you go?). Jodi had mentioned to me earlier in the day that she planned for us (me mostly since she can already do this) to run the mile without stopping. And you know what, I did. It was awesome. I felt so proud of myself. And to top it off, I'm pretty sure that we ran more than a mile. The goal was to get to the tree on the other side of the turn, which had to have been more than a mile. The only thing that sucks about this track is that they don't have adequate markings to let you know where you are. It starts at 1 (well, where we start on the track) and goes to 1 3/4. Then, it stops. We found a 1/4 mile, but it was way passed the mile (from our calculations) marker. You won't see another marker until 1. Jodi is going to get the calorie/mile counter thing to wear so that we know how far we are going.

At the very end, Jodi said, "Pick it up," so that we could sprint hard to the tree. I complained about my legs being jello and oh how this sucks, but I did it. I made it. Another notch on the belt of pride.

Now, it was time for our cool down. I love this part. When we were walking, we noticed a nice, new, flat, and wood deck and that seemed like the perfect spot to do our yoga stretches. Mainly, we were happy it didn't have stickers or ants. We spent probably 15-20 minutes performing yoga stretches that we tried to remember from what Sky and Slade taught us (check them out at yogaflight). It's not easy. Some kids came up and one impressed us that he knew we were doing yoga and that they both had on roller skates (not roller blades). Yeah, I'm old school, don't judge me. After we were done, we walked back to the car and talked about our next plan of action.

Since we are doing tunnel Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, we decided to forego training on Friday morning. We decided this mainly because Jodi has to get to work early so that she can get off (hee hee) early to go to the airport and I don't want to get up any earlier than I have to on my day off. So, we mutually decided that we can do an ab workout on Friday for alittle exercise and possibly walk around the tunnel area in Colorado for an exercise. I didn't want to do a run on Saturday, because the tunnel is going to kick my ass big time and I need to save all of my energy.

Next week will be rough on our schedule. We plan to run Thursday, Friday, and Sunday (cross train on Saturday), but I forgot that I'm headed to Lubbock. We will work something out.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 5, 2010

Well, Jodi and I made it to Bear Creek Park finally. She had never been here before and this was an old stomping ground for my partying days back in high school. Amy couldn't join us today, but hopefully she will get involved as soon as she has time.

I had bought some ankle braces at the CVS before our big run since I had time to kill before Jodi showed up. Once she was there, we did some serious leg stretching to get ready and then we took to the track like women on a mission. As a warmup (should always do a warmup before any strenous exercising), we decided to walk about a third of the track. After we reached the second pole after the first corner, we began running. We had already decided that this was going to be a light running event since I was easing into this whole running thing and Jodi had hurt her knees on a "PLF to your face" type landing. So, we were taking it easy, not balls to the walls people are coming after us to rape, mug, and murder us type running.

I hadn't ran with anyone before. The previous weeks had just been by myself and I'm easily distracted with my whining and huffing and puffing. It was nice. We talked about music and skydiving and trips coming up (Ireland, Morocco, etc.). The rule is that you should be able to hold a conversation with someone as you run. If you can't, then you need to walk or slow down your pace. Our conversation was fine.

We noticed that they had written quarter mile markers on the track, but only for parts of the track. The last one we saw was the 0.75 marker. Some people passed us, but mostly we were passing them. A lady with long, gray hair that was weird looking tried to compete with us at the end.

Since I'm not ready to run a full mile, we did both walking and running. However, Jodi said I did at least 75% of the mile running. That's good. Once we reached a turn with a large tree, we walked for the rest of the way back to the car. It was a perfect cool down and was probably close to 2 miles total. Not bad for our first training session.

We ended the day with some stretching and what was supposed to be post-run yoga stretching that I had seen on the Internet. Didn't turn out quite like I had planned. Some of it was good and some of it sucked due to the stickers, rocks, and ants on the ground. Right before our last goodbye, Jodi was probably seen picking stickers out of my butt. They weren't there when I sat down, but they were there when I tried to stretch. Thanks Jodi for the butt assist.

Things to get: A yoga matt, shorts with zipper pockets, and some kindof ipod arm carrier thing.

Things to bring: My camelback with water, especially when we start doing the longer miles.

Next up for today, same track time, same track channel.

Where it all began

May 4, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, I was complaining to my friend, Ashley that I need to seriously lose weight and get in to shape. In December, I had foot surgery to remove my bunion (a really messed up bunion) and it's taken me four months to heal. It took me almost three months where I didn't have to wear the Post-Op Clown shoe on my foot and just wear tennis shoes. It took four months to start wearing regular shoes (nothing with a heel) and to start jumping again (yes, I am a skydiver). Consequently, I have been sedentary for four months; I wanted to work out, but it would exhaust me. Walking exhausted me. Going to the bathroom exhausted me. And everything I ate just went to my stomach and my butt. Sadly, I ballooned to a Killer Whale size. On a positive note, my boobs grew in size. So, the plastic surgeon was canceled.

Ashley and I decided to do a cross state workout motivation thing since she lives in California and I live in Texas. Our goal was to do at least three workouts (run a mile or something in the place of running) a week. We chose running even though I hate running with a passion, because it will be a quick way to get us in shape, give us endurance (which we badly need for skydiving), and give us a free workout since we can't afford bikes (I would so prefer to bike). We would write our workouts down and send them to eachother via email or text to basically keep on top of one another for slacking. We have been pretty much sticking to the plan with a few setbacks. I also finally bought some new Nike running shoes that I love. My Vans were made for skydiving, but they weren't made for running. Oy Ve! I haven't been able to run a full mile, but I have walked/ran them to completion and the route I picked is actually 1.4 miles in my neighborhood. So, I'm already ahead of the game. And on top of everything else, my coworker told me about free workout videos (you gotta love free stuff) on the On Demand system from Comcast Television that I have been hitting, as well.

Also, a couple of weeks ago, I was invited to participate in a charity Sprint for Life 5K run on May 1, 2010, to honor MaloRee and BranDee Allens late mother under Team Teapot. Unfortunately, I couldn't go, because May 1, was the only day in a long time that I could train with my team for USPA Nationals. With my injury and bad weather, we haven't been able to train all that much and competition is in September. We won the Bronze last year and really want to go for Gold in the Intermediate division this year. To make matters worse, my fat size and out of shape body has caused me not to be able to keep up with our normal training day regiment of 10 jumps nor can I comfortably fit in my jumpsuit. I deemed myself "the whale rocket," because my speed is so fast. My poor teammate and videographer, Shannon, had to go into a Head Down position just to keep up with me in the Sit Fly position. Normally, Head Down is faster than the Sit Fly.

Needless to say, I was alittle bummed that I couldn't join everyone (there was like eight of them all from Skydive Houston). But sometime on Saturday, while I was writing about Team Teapot's 5K run for the Skydive Houston newsletter, I was approached by one the participants and my friend, Jodi, on doing a half marathon in January. This was the same Chevron Houston Marathon race on January 30, 2011, that I was going to do (only a 5K though) last January, but couldn't because of my foot. So, it got me weirdly excited.

Let's see, I don't like running, have never done a run race like this before, and I don't like running were all signs pointing to yes. I guess I felt like it's something I should do and hastily agreed provided that Jodi help me with training, because I really don't want to die. Also, she said that another girl, Amy, was also going to participate. We will be a running threesome (not to be confused with a threesome that most men would love to see from three women).

In the back of my head, I was still thinking maybe, just maybe, she's not totally serious. Boy was I so wrong. First thing Monday morning, I get an email from Jodi about getting ready, training schedules (using Hal Higdon's training for a half marathon ), and where and when to run. So, it's official, I'm running in a half marathon and starting to train today. Of course, we will be taking it down a notch on the training by starting with a mile instead of 3 miles like the link suggests. We have more time to train than just 12 weeks and I want to ease myself into this crazy thing they call running.

I was supposed to do strength training yesterday, but I pulled an arm muscle on Saturday and just couldn't. I have to take it easy this week, because I'm doing some serious wind tunnel training (skydiving talk) this weekend with Jodi, which will kick my bootay in more ways than one. Tunnel will also take place for my required cross training.

And Jodi and I have decided to participate in the Woodland's 5K series , which is only a $1 entry fee. Our first one will be on June 12, 2010. We plan to hit up more of these since they are twice a month, but Jodi and I have also decided to hit the Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure on October 2, 2010. I want to do as many 5K's as I can to get me prepared for the half marathon and to see if I can actually do this or if I'm just kidding myself. Jodi promises that I will learn to like it, especially when I see my new body in a bikini. My husband loves that to pieces.

Our first training is today at Bear Creek Park this evening. We will start with a mile, but I'm not sure the length of the track out there. It looks well over a mile, but Jodi and I will figure that out when we get there this evening.

If I die, I can only say that it was great knowing you. If I don't know you, then that's unfortunate.