Tag Archives: University of Texas

Adios 2012


Perhaps I should have posted this yesterday but as you’ll see this week (a series of retrospective posts), I’m a little behind….

We were talking around the hot tub last night and my cousin Sarah asked us for our best moment of 2012.  I love games like this!  It’s always fun to look back at the year and really think about the things you did, decisions you made, trips you took, runs you ran that helped make 2012 fantastic.  Even if it was a bummer year for you, surely there are one or two things that stand out as fabulous.  I’ve compiled a list of my ten biggest adventures of 2012, as told to you, my blogging audience – here’s to an even better 2013!


1. Completing 3 Half Marathons in 3 different states – Mississippi, Texas and Illinois

2:00 exactly – State # 9, Illinois

2. Deciding to go to Graduate School at the University of Texas

3. Watching the Grizzlies in the Playoffs

Go Grizz!

4. Visiting my Aunt Julie in California

Under the Rainbow at Yosemite.

5. Actually Moving to Texas (what a journey that was!), Goodbye Memphis and Hello Austin!

ATX, my new home.

6. Turning 25, and the blog turns 2!

7. Meeting the Olympians

Speedy boys, and autographed shoes!

8. Running 1,000 miles this year

9. Going home to Memphis for the St. Jude Race

Old Friends before the Grizzlies Game.

10. Spending Christmas (and New Year’s, and the first week in January….) in Mexico.

Feliz Navidad (y ano nuevo!)!

What’s your favorite memory(ies) of 2012?  


Getting to know Sports Science and Nutrition


Happy weekend y’all!  I’m out for my long run (hopefully…), as I wrote this post earlier and scheduled it to publish this morning.  You’ll get to hear about the long run (that hopefully went wonderfully) later this afternoon.

I write about my running and eating and adventures and mishaps in Austin but I haven’t really explained in detail the reason I’m here in Austin.  I moved here a little under one month ago to hunt down a rich cowboy who can cook, run and sing start graduate school at the University of Texas.  Very specifically I’m in the Sports Science and Nutrition Non-Thesis Track in the Department of Kinesiology in the School of Education.  So what the hell is all that?

Sports Science and Nutrition

Basically this degree will provide me with a more thorough understanding of all the things I knew and taught/teach my clients/y’all while I was a personal trainer.  The certification process I went through and previous experience I had as an athlete absolutely provided me with the knowledge and framework for designing exercise routines for specific goals but this will take it a step further.  I’ll be able to explain what is going on with the body to make these recommendations appropriate.  Or that’s the goal anyway.  My fellow students all seem to have athletic backgrounds with an interest in fitness or sports.  I think we’ll be a fun group once the initial timidness wears off.

This semester I’m taking three courses – Sports Nutrition, Systems Physiology and Advanced Laboratory Techniques.

Sports Nutrition – I will learn how and why athletes (and general fitness people) need to eat specific things at specific times.  I’m excited for the immediate application it has with distance running fuel and recovery.  I’m hopeful to learn that they’ve found margaritas and cupcakes are perfect fuel….This class is all graduate students and most of them are within my department.

Systems Physiology – This is the class in the Sardine Can (200+ of us squeezed into stadium-style seating at 8 am).  It’s an upper-level undergraduate course that they have tailored for the few of us who do not have a Kinesiology undergrad (mine’s in Psychology).  We get to do all the work plus write a paper.  This class won’t be much fun or immediately applicable but I like the instructor and learning about how the body works is interesting.

Lab Techniques – I haven’t actually had this class yet but from what I understand it will be all graduate students and we’ll be performing a lot of physically active tests to determine things like VO2 max and lactate threshold.  And we are the test subjects – so class is essentially a workout.

What to do with this degree?  Well, there are some options.  Previous graduates have gone on to become strength and conditioning coaches for professional teams like the Spurs.  Or personal trainers (I like that option).  Or coaches for other levels of teams (high school or college).  So my options are wide open – which is great because I have no idea what direction I’m leaning.  I’m hopeful to be exposed to a wide variety of options in the fitness/running fields and am trusting that the right opportunities will just fall into place.  If not at least I’m in a fun town in the meantime, and I’ve got my rich, musically-inclined, good-in-the-kitchen, running cowboy plan as a backup.




SJHM Week 13: Track Workout


Although Tuesday I managed to squeeze  my run in before my 8 AM class, I don’t think I can swing it twice a week.  Plus on Thursday there’s no free taco incentive to make it work.  So instead, I went to class with plans to get my track run for the week (3 x 1600 @ 7:27) after class around 9:30.  In theory it was a great idea.

The Sardine Can – my Systems Physiology class of 200+ students….

I took breakfast with me to class – an instant oatmeal packet (to be very specific, the maple and brown sugar weight control variety) with unsweetened almond milk, and had a banana just in case but didn’t feel like I needed it.  Class in the sardine can was a struggle today as we talked about osmolarity and tonicity (I know, I don’t know either…) but I now have one acquaintance to each side of me!  After class, I walked to the recreational track – Caven Lacrosse and Sports Center.

Just over the bridge….

The track is nestled across a creek and through some trees, almost like a little secret amongst the users.  I could tell on my walk from the Can to the track that I was not in the mood to do mile repeats.  First of all, I hate the mile distance.  It’s too long to go fast.  For speedwork I much prefer the 400 distance – just one lap.  I can do just one lap, even twelve times.  Second, I don’t like running when it’s not the first thing of my day.  And here it was 9:30ish, the sun was bright and the heat was on.  And I had a headache – dehydration, too much thinking in class about hypertonic solutions, I’m not sure.  The entire walk was me bargaining with myself – skip the run and do some core work later.  Skip the run and do it tomorrow on the trail.  Skip the run and save it for later in the week.  But my legs just kept heading to the track.  When will they learn what’s best for them?!

The track and field

Through the trees was a big turf field, bleachers and an oddly shaped track.  My final bargain with myself was to run at least a mile and see how I felt.  It’s tricky because usually when I make that deal, I’m thinking I’ll be off the hook after ten minutes but by the time the first four laps are done I’m ready for some more.

A little outdoor gym area

The first mile was ok – around a nine minute pace I think and by then I had talked myself into at least one speed mile.  So I grabbed some water, stretched a bit and was off.  I could tell that my legs were tight from doing the strength workout yesterday but tried to find rhythm in the music.  There was a little shade on the far side of the track, followed by a tiny incline and I’m thinking what the hell kind of set up is this?  But that’s just me being whiny.  My first mile was right on target 7:21.

Tiny bit of shade – capitol in the background!

On the second mile I had more trouble, my legs were tight and heavy.  I shifted my thinking to my stride – lean forward a little so gravity does more of the work…kick your feet up behind you so you have more power in your stride…bigger steps…lighter landings…relax your arms.  It helped for a little bit but after two laps of the sun baking me, I had to stop for a drink.  My little quitter voice said that’s enough, you can finish the rest tomorrow morning on the lake.  To which my athlete voice replied yea but we’re halfway done, it might not be pretty but you’re gonna suck it up and finish.  And then my coach voice came in to settle the two you will finish with your best effort, but cut yourself some slack – it’s bloody hot, there’s not enough shade and you haven’t done speedwork in weeks.  Did you think it’d be a pretty reunion?  And I was off to finish the two laps of that mile for a 7:34 average (obviously watch was stopped during all the discussion in my head)

Turf field

I stopped for one more stretch and water before my last mile lap.  I thought maybe reversing the direction would help me but I’m not sure it really did anything.  It was the longest mile I’ve run in a while – the ultimate frisbee practice, boys without shirts running sprints, a man doing work on the outdoor gym could not even distract me or help pass the laps.  It was awful but I got it done – last mile 8:04.

So I obviously have some work to do as far as the track workouts go.  But I’ve got a pretty cool place to run them now and maybe will have to figure out a way to get them done in the morning next week instead of after class – at least until “fall” comes (does that exist here?).  And surely that’s soon, because Starbucks has their pumpkin stuff out already!

Do you have a specific time of day you like to workout or run?