Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

On Friday evening, we hosted a holiday party with my wife's extended family -- siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles. Last night we enjoyed Christmas Eve mass at the church in which we were married.

It's now 8 a.m. on Christmas day, and we are getting ready to head to Mansfield to open gifts with my family. At 1 p.m., we are scheduled to visit my mother-in-law. Then, following a brief and warmly anticipated nap, we travel back to my parents' home for Christmas dinner.

The weather has been unseasonably warm, despite an ice storm two weeks ago. I believe the forecast is in the mid-60s. I may try to jog this afternoon if I can steal away an hour or so.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Yesterday was another fun day to be lawyer.

Without getting into any specifics, we successfully persuaded a Judge to dissolve a temporary restraining order prior to its natural expiration and to deny any further injunctive relief to the platiniffs. The Court also stated that it was inclined to dismiss the entire case for lack jurisdiction, but we agreed to provide the plaintiffs until January 15, 2006 to attempt to come up with some legal authority to rebut the arguments put forth in our plea to the jurisdiction.

The plaintiffs won't find any such authority. I know. I've looked. They're isn't any.

I love going to Court.
As long as I win.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Last Sunday, I ran White Rock. I ran the initial 10k in 52 minutes and the first half in 1 hr 54 mins. Felt great. Ahead of pace. I will finish in 3 hours, 45 minutes. Way head. Feeling very, very good.

Mile 17--both calves simultaneously cramp. No warning. Utter pain.

Could barely move.

Limped to the next aid station and rub icy-hot into them.

Trudged along. Pace continued to slow.

Every aid station, I stop, rub icy-hot into my legs, chug Powerade. Every time, the medical staff asks if I am drinking enough water, getting enough potassium. Do I want a med-ride to the finish line?

No. Screw that. I'll be damned if I take a DNF.

Can hardly walk, let alone run.

My calf muscles have completely shut down. I begin over compensating with my quads.

Then my quads revolt. Spasms of pain. I try to kick my legs, causing my hamstrings to tighten.

I refuse to walk.

I check my pace band. For awhile, I was four minutes ahead. Then three. Then two. Then I am behind. I will not finish in 3 hours, 45 minutes. I will not finish in 4 hours. I may not finish at all.

At mile 20, I rip the pace band off my wrist and throw it down in anger. I am around White Rock Lake and back in the neighborhoods.

I stumble at mile 22 trying to get a cup of Powerade.

At mile 24, I see my sister and my dad. I have slowed from an 8:49 per mile pace to about 15 minutes per mile. I only barely register them, but they see what is happening.

I do not stop.

I cross under a highway exchange and make my way back into downtown.

My running consists of picking my feet an inch off the ground and shuffling forward. But I will not walk.

I come into downtown and it suddenly registers that I am nearing the finish line. I have no idea what my pace was. I do not know what time it is. In my mind, I have been running for hours, days.

Down the hill. Past the Aquarium downtown. Past the West End. Toward the new W Hotel construction.

Left turn. Don't fall. Pick up your feet.

I round the final turn toward the finish line (maybe .1-.2 mile left). Nell is there.

I start trying to run. Both legs completely shut down. I start to fall, grab the back of my left leg, hold myself up, keep pushing forward.

Cramp in my right hamstring.
Trip. Catch myself. Pump my arms.
Stumble. Don't fall. Keep moving forward.

Nell is running with me. She says something. I respond, but don't register what is said. A race official tells her she has to get off the course. Keep running.

In the back of my consciousness, I hear the crowd. Erupting. Cheering.

I try to run.
Cramps.
Almost falling.
Staying upright.
Pumping my arms.
Crying. Tears roll down my cheeks.
I can hear cheering but I am focused only on the finish line.
The last tenth of a mile. I see the finish line.

As I cross, I start to fall, and two race workers grab me. I try to tell them I am fine, but they refuse to let me go. They walk/carry me. Someone puts a medal around my neck. They congratulate me and move to the medical tent.

I am still crying.

They put me on a table. A doctor gives me more Powerade and some pills.

*****

This was my 6th marathon. I finished in 4 hours, 30 minutes, 54 seconds. It was my 3rd fastest time.

But it was not sub-4 hours.

It's now Tuesday--two days since the race--and I am still having trouble walking.

Cowtown is in 73 days. Never give in.

I.I.T.S.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The race is tomorrow. Seems like a long time ago that I was running 18-20 miles. My last really long run was October 29 (21 miles). I've did 14 miles a month ago and 10 miles 3 weeks ago. Since then I have only run shorter distances (less than 10k). Turkey Trot was success -- 7:43 per mile without really killing myself. But there's a huge difference between 6.2 and 26.2 miles. Expect a report tomorrow or Monday.

Changing gears, it's hard not to be awash with joy as the Longhorns are the premier college sports University in the country right now. With a baseball national championship trophy, the football team is preparing for a showdown against USC in the National Championship on Jan. 1. Combine that with the Runnin' Horns undefeated season and a non-conference game against #1 Duke today at 12:30 p.m., and you have all three top men's athletic programs playing at the elite level.

Oh yeah, and VY won the Davey O'Brien and the Maxwell award. Sure, the Heisman will probably go to Reggie Bush, but that's more reason for Vince to come back next year.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

June 7, 2003. My wedding day. A perfect afternoon. My bride was stunning. Everything was wonderful. Better than we could have imagined.

But that is not the focus of this post.

Instead, I offer this piece of advice: make sure your best man's car has a full tank of gas before he agrees to drive you and your new wife from the Church to the reception.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

As I was riding home from a holiday party with my wife, I began thinking about all of the experiences of my life and how so few of them have been recorded for posterity. So, in that regard, I begin the first of a series of rememberances....

1995. Freshman year. I'm 18 years old and living on my own for the first time. Austin, Texas. What a town. I'm reside on the 13th floor of Jester Dormitory.

Kyu Chan Kim, friend and erstwhile confidant, lives in Madison House (a private dorm several blocks west of campus).

As is the norm, we traverse west campus and beyond for various Friday night parties. On this occasion, however, Chan urges us to forego the normal haunts in favor of a special soiree he has in store.

"Why?"

"Girls."

"What girls?"

"Cheerleaders."

"Done."

As our group of revelers grows, so too does Chan's insistence on the merrimeth that will freely flow upon our arrival at his mythic fiesta. Chan's promised destination is a Longhorn Cheerleader party.

As he leads a walking caravan of at least 10-12 students throughout campus, a feeling of dread soon descends.

"Where are we going?"

"Where is this party?"

"Where are you taking us?"

And yet, as we round a corner, a light shines in the distance.

"Ah-ha! I told you! There it is!"

And, as Chan pauses the savor the moment, slowly... in the distance... at the house in front of which we all stand waiting...

the porch light shuts off.

It is dark.

There is no party.

Pause.

More pause.

Chan turns.

He is smiling.

He laughs.
Texas won the Big 12. On to Passadena for the National Championship.

Life is good.

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