Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Color Run 5K Recap

This past weekend was a crazy, experience-filled weekend; I had so much going on, but at the same time, I didn't do a lot during the day. My dog's surgery was originally scheduled for the previous weekend and I pretty much cleared my schedule. Then, it was rescheduled to this past weekend in which I had to tone down what I had planned so I could take care of my precious angel (that's right, I went there).

Taken after his first accident. Poor little Remington.
So, Friday was preparation mode. But really, I decided to go to the Bayou City Art Festival with my mom. I haven't been to this festival since it was the Westheimer Art Festival and it was one giant party; I honestly don't remember a whole lot of art being sold. Saturday, I picked up Remington and got him comfortable before I went to The Houston Roller Derby season opener with Kate that night. This was an amazing event and such a fun time. I saw take downs and fast skating and cool names and massive injuries. Now, Kate and I want to do The Day of Derby on April 27, 2013, which is a one day bootcamp for everyone (including boys). Where are my skates?

And then there was Sunday... which was filled with the Color Run 5K, crawfish, and my cat, Tucker's wild 24 hour adventure being a Ginger Lion (scaring his poor mother in the process).

But this is a blog about running. Out of the blue a month ago, my friend Morgan talked to me about doing the Color Run. She was never a runner, but now she's slowly getting in to it. I was so happy to hear it and of course, I signed up the next day. We decided on a team name...Color Giants, which is a play on the funky fun and underrated band, There Might Be Giants.

On a side note, it was hard to pick the best song for this post, but I figured the above song was the most notable of their songs right now since it's on a commercial.

After signing up, I invited Kate, because she just loves running so much. Jules was supposed to join us, but selfishly signed up for the Neon Splash the night before. Morgan had a friend of hers going, as well. And the Color Giants were born. We had to wear all white to really show off the color that gets sprayed on your body. I had to shop for some type of shorts or leggings since it was the only thing I was really  missing. I tried finding shorts, but apparently, they don't exist anymore unless you want white jean shorts. They didn't even have plain white boxer shorts. So, I settled for some white leggings and would just plan to wear my gray shorts over them since it was supposed to be cold that morning. I found out that Kate was wearing almost the same thing, but black shorts. I had black shorts, which means we can match. Thus, the sub group of the Color Giants called The Reverse Oreo was born.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a long shot of both Kate and I before the run, but here is just me to get the idea. 

Kate and I with the Runningcorn.
I was worried about the leggings, because I thought it would warm up later in the day and certainly when we started running. I didn't account for the wind. Therefore, I was so very wrong and thankful for not taking off my leggings. I probably could have gone with the long sleeved shirt, too since Kate would not cuddle me like a baby, while waiting to get our packets. And then I got sick. I blame her.

It took awhile to find Morgan. Her directions for us included "By the start line next to a big tree," "I'm the one with a white hat," "Next to the DJ," "By the second flag." Not one of those descriptions helped us find her easily since there were four start lines, five flags, a tree at every start line (that were big), speaker set at each start line to make you think it was the DJ, and almost every other person wore a white hat. Eventually, we found her and met her boys.

Me, Morgan, and Kate waiting for the run to start. As Jim puts it...BEFORE! On a side note, I see a Photo Bomber in the background. Much kudos to him throwing up the deuces.

Morgan and I ready to run our first race together.

To Kate's dismay, it's not our first nor our last run together.

Kate thought I was taking a picture of her, but I was not. She looked silly posing and of course, I let this go on for awhile.

But then she forced me to take a picture of taunting me with her pyscho stare.
Finally, the Star Spangled Banner played. I normally hear a group singing the song, but the organizers put on the most unexpected and awesome Jimi Hendrix's version of the Star Bangled Banner.

They obviously spliced it up a bit to only play the parts of the song, because this goes on too long for a race or maybe it was someone else playing it in homage to Jimi.

Countdown began...and we were off. Once again, it was a packed race with lots of walkers and runners mixed. We had to weave around a lot, which is hard for a group of three together and expends a lot of energy. However, we kept it together for awhile.

We hit the first color zone...BLUE. The wind picked up so much that the colors barely hit you unless you were like the pack of people swarming the color sprayers like a hoard of zombies on a motionless human. So, we kept on running. We got a few hits at the end, but like I said, the wind didn't make it stick. I had a hankerchief covering my mouth, but I still managed to get it into my teeth.

Morgan got ahead of us when we stopped for a walk. She eventually came back to give Kate a hug and then left us to our fate on the bridge crossing I-10. By the way, how cool was it to run over the Katy Freeway? It was also cool to pass on the other side of St. Arnold's Brewery

At this point, Kate begins to whine and moan about how she hates running, but I secretly know she loves it. She keeps signing up for these races with me and she has another one in May. This quote reminds me of her.

"You don't love running when you first start because it hurts. Your legs hurt, your lungs hurt. But once you make the decision and start to move forward, you become a different person. It's not about having to hit your goal weight to start feeling good again." Davis, Founder of

We finally made it to the turnaround in the seedier part of Houston where we were sprayed with washable purple paint. Surprisingly, it was cold. Then, we hit the PINK color zone. We were doused. I think I heard Kate choking or maybe it was me. It was still fun. We had lots of stops on the bridge going back over and I took the time to take some great pictures.

Kate and I leaving the PINK Color Zone. You can see the pink spraying in the background.

It looks like I was killed by a Pepto Machine Gun.
What a beatufiul city!
Kate and I looking down at I-10 freeway.

I-10, Houston, colors, and me...a perfect combination.
The best picture I could get of the St. Arnold Brewery. The sun was hitting from that side.
The wind was so strong. It's funny, because there was a strong crosswind on the way over and then it changed to a strong tailwind. I yelled at Kate, "This is our time to make up for our stopping." So, I kept her going until we hit the YELLOW Zone. More hits of color. We kept on going. Kate felt it was necessary to ask the cop where the beer was and he informed that there was beer at the end (we never saw it). Only Kate...only Kate. We hit the last ORANGE color zone and then made our final turn into the finish. I told Kate we will not be one of those pusses that walk through the finish line; we will run through it. And we did. I'm not sure what are time was and I couldn't care about it. We got some water and some food and then let our color bags go all over the place. When we got the bags, we were told to hold on to our bags until the end. I assumed it would be this massive color party at the finish line. Well, there was a massive color party, but over to the side in which we saw as soon as we let our bags go. We raced over there to join and let go what was left.

Kate turns to look at me, but got hit in the eye.

Kate letting the last bit of her bag up in the air.

It's amazing how much was still in there.

Woohoo COLOR PARTY/Rave of my childhood.

More people join in with other colors.

My turn.

I already had any left.

We paid money for this.
Afterwards, we headed to find Morgan again, watched her kids spray some color on to Morgan's friends, and then went back to the party to enjoy some kids dancing (like 6 year old kids). It was cute.

As Jim puts it...the AFTER.

Morgan's son Conner hitting their friends with some yellow.

All four of the girls fully colored.

Next stop was to find the blowers to blow off the color as much as possible. Best quote of the day came from Conner.

"We got blowed."

I'm not sure how to explain this picture.

The other side now.
We parted ways and left home to realize how much color we still had on us, including up my nose. This was certainly a fun run, but a packed one. If Morgan and Kate wanted to do it again, I would be in for sure.

And don't forget...

On May 4, 2013, I will participate again in the Sprint for Life 5K to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research in honor of MaloRee, BranDee, and MegGan whom lost their mom to this horrible disease. I also run in honor of my Great Aunt, Betty who lost this battle, as well. Please donate here or join us on Team Teapot. My goal is $2,000 this year and I just know we can reach it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Running With the Luck of the Irish

This week has been absolutely incredible with my running. I don't think I have ever had a week full of running. In total, I ran 21 miles. Holy Cow, that is a lot of running. I burned a lot of calories, but my weight is still too high. Damn you cookie cake and ice cream!

Since I already told you good readers about my running escapades earlier in the week (You Lady Are Beautiful and Beautiful Days , it's not necessary to recap on this post. But I haven't told you about this weekend. It was one of the hardest weekends of running to date even when I was training for the half marathon (I wasn't too diligent on sticking to the training plan).

On Saturday, I decided to spend another beautiful day outside doing what I love...running. I wanted six miles. I planned on driving up to Hermann Park and running two laps around Rice University and then I remembered something. It's in the middle of the day on to a zoo...on Spring Break. I knew that parking would not be an option for me. So, then I got to thinking about just running up to Hermann Park and running one loop, then running home, which will certainly give me six miles.

What I failed to think about was the time of day. I have been in this Texas Not So Spring haze of beautiful crisp weather and blue skies for a few weeks now. Of course going out to run at 2 p.m. on a Saturday would be fact, AMAZING. All I have to say is that Summer is coming and coming fast. Houston is already in the 80s. The sun feels hot. The humidity is getting higher. And I forgot to put on sunblock.

I ran up to the park on the side with the sun hitting and absolutely no shade. Halfway through, I was not only thinking about how miserable this is, but how I should have gone on the other side. Rookie mistake.

The traffic was nasty trying to get in to the park, which means I made a good decision there. Something right. I was already feeling the sun and chose to do the shorter loop around. I scoped out the new bridge of where I will cross on the way back and then stopped at the benches to do two sets of 25 front ab crunches and two sets of 25 scissor crunches. I continued on my way with a slow start. When I made my way around I crossed underneath the road for the first time ever and crossed the Bill Coats Bridge that opened back in November. I've been looking forward to this opening, because it allows bikers, walkers, and runners to cross over the busy street without having to worry about traffic. Zombies, yes. Traffic No.

That hole used to have a fence.

The Bill Coats Bridge in all its' glory.
Crossing the bridge over Brays Bayou.

Some Texas Bluebonnets in the city. 
I finally made it home sunburnt and wiped out and oh so sore. I may have gotten a little bit of heat exhaustion, too. I ran 5.40 miles in 1:14:15. I burned 509 calories, but probably more than that since I was so drained.

And to end my weekend, I decided to join the hashers for a Hash run on St. Patrick's Day. I wore green. Naturally, it started at Hans Bier Haus in which I had a green beer before my run. Hey, they were only $2. This was supposed to be a short run, but it ended up being around 4.5 miles. I forgot to start my watch, which means I'm going on other people's watches. It was about an hour. It was hot; I was sore; I walked a lot. At one point, 101 Donations and I stopped to get sprayed by a sprinkler. It felt so very good. I finished about an hour. I was then reinitiated back in the group for taking so long to do my second Hash. We went back to the pub and I enjoyed some great conversation. It was actually a really great St. Patty's Day. For the first time in years, I didn't wake up the next day unproductive and hungover. I woke up sore and still wiped out, but not hungover. I think I'm going to do this again. Oh and sadly, my knee high socks didn't get me a win for the best costume.

On May 4, 2013, I will participate again in the Sprint for Life 5K to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research in honor of MaloRee, BranDee, and MegGan whom lost their mom to this horrible disease. I also run in honor of my Great Aunt, Betty who lost this battle, as well. Please donate here or join us on Team Teapot. My goal is $2,000 this year and I just know we can reach it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

You Lady Are Beautiful

**Updated to fix the Team Teapot Link.**

As I ran down Old Spanish Trail, I had the following conversation with an older man.

Old Strange Man: Hello Lady.
Me: Hello
Old Strange Man: You lady are BEAUTIFUL!
Me: Thank you.
Old Strange Man: No, Thank You!

If I could start every run like that I would be a happy runner. In fact, there would be way more women running if their runs started out with that type of conversation.

This wasn't an especially fancy or great run. I actually ran slower than the other runs this week probably due to my body getting tired or I ran on the sidewalk instead of the nice tracks at the park. I guess the main difference was that I ran down Old Spanish Trail the other way, which I have never done. When I first started, my calves hurt. I stopped at 0.13 miles to stretch out my legs. I resumed running with no more problems.

I ran the first mile at 10 minutes and 50 seconds, which is significantly slower. Oh well. Then, I continued with the five minutes run, one minute walk. However, I got into a nasty habit of stopping my watch when the walk part started. Consequently, I forgot to restart the watch at the run and missed a minute. My times and mileage are all off.

The total miles run were 3.17 (but this is obviously higher) in 39 minutes and 8 seconds. I burned 343 calories.

On May 4, 2013, I will participate again in the Sprint for Life 5K to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research in honor of MaloRee, BranDee, and MegGan whom lost their mom to this horrible disease. I also run in honor for my Great Aunt, Betty who lost this battle. Please donate here at or join us on Team Teapot. My goal is $2,000 this year and I just know we can reach it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Beautiful Days

These last couple of days have been absolutely beautiful, with nice, crisp weather and blue skies as far as the eye can see. It may be slightly breezy, but that's perfect for a run.

Normally, Mondays are my rest day, but I decided that I couldn't NOT run on a day like this, especially since I didn't run this past weekend. I loaded up my ipod with lots of treasures from the 80s. What really happened was that I wanted to download this song by U2 called "I Will Follow" at the same time that Footloose was playing on the TV. So, I had to download all of U2 (They always make me think of Syraya and I at the dropzone singing YEAH YEAH YEAH!) and Footloose and took many songs from each to add to my running playlist. Then, I realized wow, the 80s music is just perfect for I went loose on itunes buying songs like Hungry Like a Wolf and I Ran So Far Away.

Best paraphrased quote from Jimbo, "You know that U2 are wankers. And then you listen to their songs and realize they really are geniuses."

Thus, I went up to Rice University for a planned over three mile run. I parked farther away to give me more mileage and then set my ipod to ...wait for it..."BEAUTIFUL DAY" by U2. It just seemed to match so perfectly to what I was feeling.

As I got to the start of the university path, "Where the Streets Have No Name" came on and I was blown away with inspiration.

The flower colors just popped. Were they there on Friday? I don't remember seeing the beautiful purples and pinks and yellows everywhere. The people were out and about running, walking, taking pictures, etc. It just felt magical in the air and I didn't want it to end.

I ran the first mile in 10:40 and proceeded with five minutes run, one minute walk. I was definitely in the moment with this run and it really made me feel that I AM A RUNNER. I'm also loving this running path around Rice University and I think it might be my new favorite in town. I ran a total of 3.5 miles in 40 minutes. But I did get three miles in 24 minutes, which is great for me. I'm getting closer to my goal. I can feel it.

Normally, my schedule is run Tuesday-Thursday, but I'm not running on Wednesday and I didn't run the past weekend as I have mentioned. Sorry, I didn't mean to go all Charlaine Harris on your from the Sookie Stackhouse novels. I decided to run Monday and Tuesday and then on Thursday. My friend Brittany told me about this Triathlon Party at Luke's Locker. So, I decided to cut my run short to try to make it there by 7 (I was late, of course). I ran my normal route around Hermann Park, but this time, there were so many people. It's Spring Break down here and the zoo/park is covered with families.

I ran one mile in 10:20 (getting faster) and then did five minutes run, one minute walk. At one point, I passed a walking lady on the right since she had plenty of room and I was being lazy. She asked me which was the right etiquette for walking and I told her to be on the right. I apologized to her and told her I saw enough room and went for it. Oh was still nice that she asked.

I ran down the stairs and around the ramp up now that they have a new path open just to add an extra oomph to my run. It hurt. Then, there was this weird time when I had to move off the path to let four golf carts go by as they talked about their game. My total run time was 2.40 miles in 28 minutes (also faster than Penny and I's run). But then I had to make an emergency stop at the bathrooms, which were far away from my car. I did add some extra mileage going over there and it was cool to see some breakdancers on the side. I didn't know they did that anymore. Good for the kids for bringing it back.

After my run, I headed over to Luke's Locker for the Private Triathlon Party. They had wine, beer, and food...and prizes. Sadly, I didn't win anything. I talked to a NUUN rep about how to add this to water, because it's all confusing to me right now. I tried some Bonk bars, which Britt and I now want to use that in our running statements. We heard a talk from Jordan (Newton Shoes rep) about how to transition from the bike to the run effectively. He gave out some great tips. Then, I heard the call for foam roller demo. I have read countless blogs about this new phenomon and I honestly was confused. I ate something really small and headed over there with the intent of coming back to the food. I didn't eat nearly enough after my run. I honestly thought the guy would give a demo, but it turns out that I was the demo. I went through all the exercises and it hurt so good. I had so many tight spots that I usually feel when I'm doing yoga (yoga starts this week). I plan to buy a foam roller when I start the longer miles during my training. Then, I went over to the Newton Shoes to talk to Jordan. I want to try triathlons, but I'm not much of a swimmer. I did have my competition with Jim (which he won for being so tall), but that was only a couple of laps and it tired me out. I'm more of a splashing in the pool with a beer in my hand kind of swimmer. So, he talked about training pools and open water vs. a pool. And ...then...somehow I was buying a pair of Newton shoes. They were NOT my color, but they were on sale...really on sale. A price drop from $150 something to $60 and I got a free T-shirt. My justification is that I will wear out my new Brooks Pure Cadence and then I will need a new pair. I won't get this price again. I can also use them interchangeably for different types of training to make me an all around better runner. I also bought a new Dry Fit shirt to match my new shoes. The party provided a 15% discount on all clothing. WEEEEE!

Without further ado...

In my defense, every blog I read has multiple sneakers like more than two. I promise this is it.
No running for me tonight, because I need a break before speedwork on Thursday with Britt.

Upcoming Races
Next up...The Color Run on March 24, 2013, with Morgan and Kate as The Color Giants. If you want to join us, just sign up.

I also have the Sprint for Life 5K to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research. Please donate here at or join us on the Team Teapot at

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Week of Firsts

Last week was a pretty good week for running. I ran three days, which is more than I have done in a long time. I wanted to run on Sunday, but the rain pretty much zapped my motivation to wait around until it cleared. And wouldn't you know it cleared as soon as I gave up the idea of running to clean my apartment, shower, and take out Remi.Oh well.

It was also a good week, because I had some new running firsts. No, I don't owe a case of beer; this isn't skydiving.

On Tuesday, I met with Penny for the first time to run in Hermann Park. I got there a little early and took some photos. I would like to revisit The Herb Garden when it is Spring, because these flowers/Plants/Herbs looked pitiful and didn't smell fragrant at all.

This is the Fragrant Garden located in Hermann Park, but I just didn't smell any fragrances.
I love how the Garden Center has statues throughout the garden.

I thought this was an excellent shot.

If Ghandi can walk, I shouldn't complain about my run.

Guess why I got this picture.
When Penny got there, we did a quick stretch and decided to run the main loop that I usually run instead of running around Rice University (Penny's school). I did in fact set my watch (although, I should have set up the GPS while I waited) and we were off. It's been a long time since I have had a running partner during my training runs. Penny and I talked about alot of things, which made the run so much better.

But I didn't just have one first, I had two firsts on this run. I finally broke in my new Brooks Pure Cadence (realized I left that off on earlier posts). It was different to get used to for sure. During the run, I had to stop for a walk, because my bad ankle hurt. I worried that maybe I was right thinking the minimalist shoes would not give me good ankle support, but it was fine after the break. I had to give out a big sigh of relief that I just didn't waste a bunch of money. Afterwards, I read that I should have broken my new shoes in by wearing them out regularly before taking them out on a run. I did a few times, but not the amount they were expecting. I still love my shoes!

Total run was 2.43 miles in 29 minutes and 43 seconds. We burned 273 calories.

Penny and I after the run.
On Wednesday, I only had time for a quick run before I went out to dinner with Rory at the Ethopian Place. This would be my second meatless day for the month of March. The first doesn't have to do with the run at all, but it would be the first time I had the vegetarian plate, which was delicious. I just have to remember to not drink so much water next time.

On a side note, I'm totally sticking to that goal of two meatless days a month and loving it with all the new food I'm exploring.

Anyways, since this was a quick run, I just ran around my apartment for 2.14 miles in 26 minutes and 51 seconds. I burned 238 calories. It was an easy run and nothing really spectacular to talk about, except for the traffic (rodeo). My shoes didn't bother me one bit.

Then, my last first of the week happened on Friday. I have thought about, planned, and even attempted to run the entire track around Rice University. I have gotten close with the 2012 Hot Undies Run  and 2011 Hot Undies Run, but it only covers a quarter of the entire track. For some reason, this particular run alluded me. Not this time. I had it in my head to run three miles and I knew the track was three miles (or so it said online). I parked over by the zoo to give me a nice warmup/cooldown walk. I chose the direction only because I wouldn't have to doubleback when I finished. I realized during the run that it wasn't the best idea since everyone went the other way.

I love running around Rice University, because the trees are magnificant looking. I listened to my ipod, enjoying the scenery, and saying hello to other walkers/runners. What I noticed is that I got a lot of icy looks at the shirt I was wearing supporting The Michael Berry Show. This area accounts for the blue parts of Texas and they do not like anything not Democrat. Oh well. But the interesting part of my run was that I ran in to a friend of my mom's walking her beautiful dogs. It was nice to see her even though I think I scared her.

I learned that the track is not exactly three miles. However, the run to my car accounted for the extra mileage to make it exactly three miles. With the stop to talk, I ran three miles in 35 minutes and 28 seconds. I burned 340 calories. I think I'm going to break that 5k in under 30 minutes very soon.

Next up...The Color Run on March 24, 2013, with Morgan and Kate as The Color Giants. If you want to join us, just sign up