My video technician (Michael) has been coaching a triathlon clinic this past weekend and hasn’t had time to upload the video that Cassie and I took this past weekend.  ( I know…you are probably thinking, why don’t I learn to do it myself.  Well the truth is that I have tried.  And I am so fearful that I will kill the flip-video or my computer.  So until I am more confident in my video abilities, Michael will continue to upload videos).  However, I still look forward to sharing it with everyone.  I figured I had better write my weekend report before I forgot everything:).

Cassie and I left Austin early Friday afternoon in the hopes of avoiding Houston “rush hour”, pick up our packets, eat dinner, and find the accommodations that her coach had set up for us all before the 7pm hour.  Everything was moving along smoothly….until we found our accommodations. As athletes, Cassie and I are always trying to save money.  Her coach offered his office apartment that he has in the downtown area that I assume is used by other office employees.  First of all, the office was in what we felt like, an unsafe part of town.  Cassie and I were a little nervous to leave the car.  However, we were both optimistic about what the apartment would be like.  Our fears came to the surface, when we were finally able to get into the apartment.  It was really kind of dirty and gross.  The bed was unkept and there was shoes, make-up, and random clothing laying around.  Cassie and my plans quickly changed as we knew were not going to be comfortable staying there.  Cassie, being extremely resourceful, had a list of hotel numbers with her just in case something might happen with the accommodations.  Thankfully, she got on the horn and found a really nice, affordable place to stay in downtown Houston, 4 blocks from the start.  We got lucky!!!  Thankfully we were in a clean, comfortable bed by 9;30.
It always amazes me how Cassie packs.  I think I had 3 duffel bags for one night.  Cassie had  one small back pack.  I guess there always has to be one messy, unorganized girl in the group (me)!  I don’t think I used half the shit that I brought.
After arriving in  the hotel, I called Michael to talk to him about the race and what I should think about and implement as a plan.  Honestly, I hadn’t even thought about the race.  In fact, I forgot that it was a 10k.  Cassie had to refresh my memory on the way down to Houston.  In any case, Michael thought that I should aim for just under 6 minute pace.  I had done a few mile repeats the week before at that pace, and he thought that 5;50-5;55 may be a good starting point for me.  I asked Cassie (who is going to the US Olympic women’s marathon trials in April, has qualified for the trials in the 10k,  and has been a professional runner for the past several years) if she would mind if I warmed up with her.  In the past, I have always been worried about missing the start.  So after I warm-up, I usually,  lay on the curb for about 10 minutes waiting for the start of the race.  I only do one or two running races a year and I feel somewhat out of my element despite being a college runner in the past.  Plus, I wanted to try something different, so I was Cassie’s warm-up shadow:).  
After the gun went off there was a lot of jockying for position.  I thought about what Michael said about not going out too fast.  I let Cassie go with about 2 other girls and I found myself surrounded by a bunch of old guys.  I figured that being in this group of six would be perfect for me as it was a bit windy and they could pull me along.  Our little group went through mile one in 5;46.  I thought to myself, this is good and this is where I want to be.  As the miles clicked by, I soon found myself by myself.  I had eliminated my small group on a small riser at mile 2.5.  I was a bit bummed as I was hoping these guys could pull me along.  However, I was now on my own.  I started playing mind games with myself, trying to calculate my 10k time as I passed every mile hoping I was going hard enough.  As I passed through mile 6 in 35:53, I realized that I had better start hauling ass if I wanted to break 37:00.  Luckily I did….by 3 seconds:).  After finishing, Cassie and I talked about the race and once I realized that I was only a minute behind her, I was totally happy, as Cassie is a BAD ASS runner!!  
I always wonder if I go hard enough in these races.  After the race, Cassie was a bit sore and I was worried because I wasn’t.  I often think , should I have tried to go harder?  The last time I was sore after a race was last year after the Bolder Boulder.  Michael ran with me, pacing me, screaming at me to go harder and faster.  I ran completely outside of myself and I was tweaked for three days!   I loved every minute of it.
In any case, I woke up yesterday morning ready for a new challenge and ready to run faster.  Feeling like I was perfectly fine, I did a hilly, challenging, run getting my heart rate up to a easy to moderate pace (zone 1-2) (my friends and family are probably wondering what the hell that means…ha!  I know how you feel:)).  I did feel perfect and fine until about mile 5 in which my quads, low back, calves, and obliques started to feel sore.  HA!!!  The joke was on me with three plus miles to go!  Then being the good student that I am, I followed my coaches prescription of a 30 minute bike time trial that I could barely do as my quads hurt by this point to touch. 
So as today is rainy  and cold, I look forward to a day off with my sweet husband.  We haven’t hung out for 3 days and I have really missed him.  We will probably take the dogs for a walk and a grooming session.  Then we will try to uploads these videos!
Lastly, I look forward to sharing a video of my new bike.  It is absolutely gorgeous.  James at Jack and Adams has completely dialed in my new bike to be completely matching.  Zane has fit me perfectly.  And, lastly,  I have installed a nerdomo (ergomo).  I know…hard to believe, but it had to be done:)!