Category Archives: St. Jude Half Marathon Training 2012

Weekend Summary and New 10k PR!!


Fall arrived in Austin yesterday with temperatures in the 50s!  I’m not sure how long that will last but it’s pretty funny seein’ some of these Texans in their North Face fleece already!  I have lots of fun to re-cap for y’all since my track workout on Thursday 🙂

1. UT Women’s Soccer Match.  Friday night I joined my new friend Lauren (we’re suffering through the Bio class in the sardine can together, and finally managed to spend some time together outside of studying) at the soccer match against OSU.  Longhorns won 1-0, and Mia Hamm made a guest appearance.

Beautiful City Scape

Texas Sunsets are incredible – too bad the big stadium’s in the way…

Hook ’em!

2.  UT v. West Virginia Football Game.  I attended my second UT football game this year on Saturday night.  It’s hard to believe in 24 hours I went from wearing jeans and a tank top to jeans and a sweatshirt (and being cold!).  A group of kids from my kinesiology program got together for tequila and burgers before the game.  It was fun to be with everyone outside the classroom again.  This time instead of being sky high in the stadium, a group of us was in the true student section.  Much different experience.  Boots on, tequila down and horns up!

UT fans.

South Endzone view!

It was a close game against our big rival – the Mountaineers – but UT just couldn’t hold on.  The atmosphere was incredible as a sports’ fan.  Plenty of horns were thrown and a lot of Texas Fight chanted!

Put Bevo in!

Our seats were right by our official mascot – Bevo!

Post-Touchdown Flags


Almost fully embraced the burnt orange…

Texas Fight!


Steph and me!

Forgive us Rhodes, but we decided losing at UT is more fun than winning at Rhodes…..

3.  IBM 10k – First race of the Austin Distance Challenge

Then this morning, I had to wake up and run 6.2 miles.  I joined the group after the game for one more beer and am glad I managed to turn down two additional rounds.  I was in bed by 12:30 am.  This morning, the chilly temps made for perfect racing weather.  I ran without my iPod.  After a rough week of running, I needed this to be a good race, and it was!

Avg Pace
Summary 48:12.8 6.29 7:40


1 7:52.2 1.00 7:52
2 7:42.8 1.00 7:43
3 7:36.8 1.00 7:37
4 7:40.1 1.00 7:40
5 7:29.6 1.00 7:30
6 7:48.7 1.00 7:49
7 1:27.4 0.20 7:12
8 :35.3 0.09 6:38

I managed to stay below an 8 minute pace and felt strong the whole time.  I’m having some low back pain and knee pain but only after the run.  I’m proud of how I paced the run, working on negative splits until the last mile.  A 10k PR was just what my confidence needed, and certainly helps my motivation for the remaining 8 weeks of St. Jude training.

I came in 14 out of 129 in my new age group of 25-29.  We’re a little bit older and a little bit faster than what I’m used to in Memphis.  But I’m pleased with it anyway.  The post-race party was the best I’ve seen by a 10k – including breakfast tacos, massages, cookies, muffins, bananas and live music.  The Austin Distance Challenge tent had the tacos and more goodies – including the first magnet in the 6-race series.  I’m excited for the next race!

Sometimes it’s hard to see the results as you go because all of the runs feel hard.  And then you hit one race where everything feels right – despite the stress of school, despite the week of missed runs, despite the trouble sleeping – sometimes you just have to trust that for the most part you’ve put in the work and it will all come together.  Trust the process 🙂

Now it’s time to hit the books and get ready for the arrival of the Reynolds women….watch out Austin!

Is it fall where you are yet?  Happy weekend!



Week 11 Long Run: September’s 13.1


Prep for today’s half-marathon (not a race, just the distance) started yesterday morning with my easy bike ride and carb-heavy eating 🙂  I met the boys from work for pizza at Homeslice, an authentic New York pizza place on South Congress that I’ve heard about since the second I arrived.  Surprisingly I’ve been here more than a month and despite at least 4 long runs, haven’t had any pizza at all.  It was time to change that!

Homeslice Pizza

Eating with two “elite” (in “” because I consider them elite, they would never call themselves that) athletes is a little bit of a challenge.  J for one, is a semi-strictly paleo (future) triathlete champion, so pizza’s not on his list of foods he can eat.  BUT the whole purpose of this trip to Homeslice was that pizza is his favorite guilty food and he was ready to ditch the caveman lifestyle for the night.  Then there’s H, a gluten-free long distance speedster.  And he’s not semi-strict, he’s all the way strict on the gluten.  So I called Homeslice to see if they had any gluten free options, this is Austin after all.

Me: Hi, do y’all have any gluten free pizza?

Homeslice: Unfortunately we have alotta gluten in all of our pizzas.

Well shoot.  So the plan became for me and J to grab take out from Homeslice and walk it up to the South Congress trailer park where H would have to hope that he could rummage up some gluten-free food.  Taking out at Homeslice involves waiting in line to place your order at a walk-up window.  We were just ordering by the slice so our options were a little more limited than flavors of pies (pretty typical of by-the-slice places): cheese, pepperoni and margherita are available all the time and yesterday they also had a white slice with spinach and mushrooms and sausage.  I ordered margherita and an Amstel Light.

Homeslice Pizza

We sat on the curb with the other people devouring their slices and I sipped my beer while we talked a little bit about running and fitness, and a lot about our past two or three years of life.  When our slices were ready (not a long wait at all), I had to down my beer (not allowed off the property) and we walked to the trailers.  H managed to find some gluten free Indian food at Nomadosa (I can’t wait to go back and try it myself!) and we ate.  J wasn’t quite satisfied so he found a trailer with some jambalaya and fries (semi-strict remember…) – oh to be a man.

It was a pleasant night so we sat around the picnic tables for a while telling stories of mischief and training and continuing to get to know each other.  They’re good guys, and I’m thinking will be a positive influence on my training – lots of knowledge in those heads.

Long Run

I was ready to go this morning.  Pizza and beer in the belly, legs rested and mind prepped for 13.1 miles on the road and Gary with me, I hit the road a little after 7.  I took the Shoal Creek Trail down towards the lake.  I’ve heard about this “hike and bike” trail and thought it was about time to check it out.  It’s partly paved, partly very rocky and I was glad I had never tried to ride my bike home on this trail before!  Definitely mountain bike material, possibly hybrid bike but I’m not gonna be the one to try it!  I enjoyed the trail on foot though – the terrain was different than the lake trail and I liked crossing under all the bridges.

Rough Trail!

Running towards downtown and along the lake was wonderful – down hill and flat!  Then I knew I would have to climb back up the incline to get home.

Those Last 3…..

The first ten miles felt fantastic – I watched my pace closely on Gary and was surprised when “easy” was sub-9.

Avg Pace
Summary 1:56:24.6 13.12 8:53
1 8:49.4 1.00 8:50
2 8:32.6 1.00 8:33
3 8:32.1 1.00 8:32
4 8:20.6 1.00 8:21
5 8:34.8 1.00 8:34
6 8:10.8 1.00 8:10
7 8:18.2 1.00 8:18
8 8:20.0 1.00 8:20
9 8:52.8 1.00 8:52
10 8:43.6 1.00 8:43
11 9:58.1 1.00 9:58
12 10:49.4 1.00 10:49
13 9:20.0 1.00 9:20
14 1:02.2 0.12 8:57

You can see I started to feel it around mile 9 when my average pace dropped significantly – and then at 11 I hit the hills.  I’m pleased with how well the first ten went, but still have a lot of work to do!  It took 1:56:24 and I need to shave 9 minutes off that for a PR and 11 for the big, fast goal…..10 weeks to go!


I was so thirsty when I got home, I drank two big glasses of ice water first.  I also was pleasantly surprised when I found a frozen chocolate milk carton in the freezer – it was like a milkshake was waiting for me.  My stomach doesn’t tolerate solid food very well for the first hour so I’ve gotten in the habit of sucking down a serving of 1% chocolate milk (sometimes when it’s cold, I’ll go for a mocha or hot chocolate – but that hasn’t happened here yet) and then taking a nap on the couch.

By the time my nap’s done, I’m pretty hungry and today I feasted.

  • One serving steel cut oats with pumpkin mixed in (plus cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice)
  • 2 eggs scrambled with spinach and salsa
  • Bowl of fruit: watermelon, blueberries and strawberries
  • Cup of black tea, serving of V8 juice, glass of water

Steel cut oats with pumpkin (it’s fall – even if the temps are 90!)

I don’t have a microwave so I’ve started making steel cut oats and I love them!  They don’t take too much longer and I like their taste better.  Just boil 3/4 c water or milk and add 1/4 c oats and simmer until the thickness matches your preference – takes less than ten minutes!

Scrambled eggs, spinach and salsa

For the protein!  Plus I like a little savory with my sweet oatmeal.

Plethora of beverages: V8, water, tea

Lots of fluids – water obviously, tea because usually when I’m up from my nap I’m pretty chilly post-run and V8 because I love veggies!  All the drinks aren’t even pictured! Don’t forget the immediately post-run chocolate milk 🙂

Phew – big morning here in Austin, TX.  Now I have to be a student again…..

Happy Sunday!

Here’s what you missed: Wedding and Running!


I told you I’d be back!  Here’s a re-cap of what I’ve been doing the past week while I took a break from writing:


Last weekend I went to Dallas to see my big sister (from my college sorority Chi Omega) get married.

Dynamic Duos – a doctor and a prom queen.  So young!

She taught me how to play dress up and talk to boys. I taught her how to make snow angels (she’s from Texas…not much exposure to snow back then).

My first snow at Rhodes

And now I can hardly believe the girl who encouraged me to skip my first class (“just one time”…) is all grown up and married.  We had a great time celebrating her new journey.

Mr. and Mrs.

The ceremony was beautiful – a dark room with pink and blue back lights and a string quartet playing while everyone walked down the aisle.  Her girls wore navy blue, floor length gowns and her dress was beautiful and classy.  They each wrote their own vows and tears were shed by bride, groom, me and others.

Pretty sis!

After the tears turned to smiles, it was time to party!

Me, Alycia (Memphis) and Ally (Austin)

There was one table dedicated to Rhodes kids – mostly her girlfriends and their boyfriends/husbands.  I very happily flew solo with my friend Alycia.

Colorful bunch

We knew we wouldn’t get too much time with Tay at the reception but we managed to snag a few photos with her 🙂

Rhodes Girls

I am not in the right period of my life to be thinking about getting married but that doesn’t mean I can’t take notes for my wedding in oh about twelve years… here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. Do NOT let your girlfriends sit close to the aisle where you can see them.  If they cry, you will cry before you’re even two steps down the aisle.
  2. Make sure the party lasts all night.   Your guests will want to keep dancing.
  3. Have plenty of food available if there’s an open bar.  Snacks, a three-course meal, and a to-go meal (hers was breakfast tacos – hey we’re in Texas!).  Sick guests are good for no one.

So, I’ve got those notes for future wedding planning just in case I don’t take my dad up on his offer for $10,000 to elope.


Yes, I have been running!  This week is going much better than last week – I decided to kick it off with a bang on Monday and get a double digit in.  I did a big loop from my apartment to downtown and back.  Coming home (on foot or bike) is always so much harder than going downtown, it’s uphill the ENTIRE way.  Good practice for strong quads and calves.

Avg Pace
Summary 1:29:26.6 10.01 8:56
1 8:45.3 1.00 8:45
2 8:59.7 1.00 8:59
3 8:38.7 1.00 8:38
4 9:04.9 1.00 9:04
5 8:41.5 1.00 8:41
6 8:55.2 1.00 8:55
7 8:54.9 1.00 8:54
8 9:04.2 1.00 9:04
9 9:28.5 1.00 9:28
10 8:51.1 1.00 8:51
11 :02.6 0.01 6:44

Not quite on target.  Damn.

I had to be a big girl on Tuesday and decided not to go to the taco run so I could stay up late and get up early to finish a presentation for my nutrition class.  Instead of getting my 4.5 tempo run and free breakfast taco, I was making slides on the phosphorylation of P70(sk6)…..I’ll spare you.

I taught core class Tuesday night and am looking forward to teaching again next week!

Thursday I put my game face on to take on the track again. 6×800 repeats on the agenda.  6×800 repeats completed, almost all at pace.

Avg Pace
Summary 39:54.2 4.27 9:21


1 8:34.1 0.95 9:00
2 1:29.4 0.04 34:23
3 3:36.5 0.51 7:03
4 1:30.1 0.04 37:40
5 3:29.9 0.50 7:00
6 1:36.4 0.05 31:42
7 3:33.1 0.50 7:02
8 1:26.1 0.06 25:04
9 3:32.2 0.49 7:14
10 1:45.7 0.05 34:21
11 3:48.1 0.50 7:36
12 1:26.1 0.06 25:43
13 2:42.9 0.36 7:31
14 :09.4 0.01 22:13
15 1:03.9 0.14 7:48
16 :10.4 0.01 18:28

Some weird button pushing happened on the last two numbers – they should be added together for 3:46.8.  My goal for all splits was 3:36.  Legs were heavy and burning by last two and I almost talked myself out of them.  Almost.

Then later on Thursday, my store Texas Running Company teamed up with Lululemon and Bar Method for a running and fitness community event.

Big group for running and “barring”

Our group left the Texas Running Company at 6:45 for a short run to the Bar Method studio on W. 5th Street.  I chatted the whole time with Lena (you can see me on the far right of the photo, she’s the one I’m talking to!).  I had never taken a bar class before and let’s just say it kicked my ass (and my quads).  I feel my quads a lot today.  A LOT.

An excerpt from their website:

The Bar Method™workout creates a uniquely lean, firm, sculpted body by combining the muscle-shaping principles of isometrics, the body-elongating practice of dance conditioning, the science of physical therapy and the intense pace of interval training into a powerful exercise format that quickly and safely reshapes and elongates muscles.

The women who led us through the class were cheerful, helpful and energetic as the running girls and a few boys burned and shook with pain.  They did their best to keep us working hard through the shakes while maintaining good posture and a smiling face.  I enjoyed the class and the group of runners and am looking forward to more community/fitness fusion runs in the future!  I definitely recommend Bar Method based on yesterday’s workout and the way I feel today, unfortunately it doesn’t fit in this student’s budget right now!

Setting up Internet!

That’s right – I’ve got it at the apartment now so I can be back in tune with y’all.  I’ve missed you!

What’d you do for the last week of summer?