Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pre-Marathon: Oct. 27-28

D.C. was nasty.

It was cold and rainy with angry gusts of wind whipping through the streets when we arrived Friday afternoon.

Earlier that morning, Nell, Shana, and I departed the comforts of home for the DFW International Airport. As has seemed the norm every time I have been forced to fly through Chicago, our flight was delayed due to a "low ceiling." High winds had my stomach churning and during our layover I popped a couple of motion sickness pills. Unfortunately, these did not help. I was weak and nauseated by the time we touched down at Reagan National Airport. Not a great way to start the trip.

We grabbed a taxi to the University Club on 16th Street NW. A friend is a member at this private D.C. club, and he was able to get us a great deal on a hotel room. Our room wasn't quite ready, so we left our luggage with the coat check and made our way through the chilly, wet streets of Washington in search of something for lunch.

We settled on a restaurant called 14K--mostly because it was nearby and we were shivering. After chowing down on a Cobb salad with grilled apples, we braved the elements and made our way back to our hotel, where my parents had just arrived.

Tired, Nell and I opted for a short nap. About 30 minutes later, we awoke and, after purchasing an umbrella, walked to the McPherson Metro Station, where we caught the orange line into Virginia. We exited the Metro and walked two blocks to a high rise apartment building where a good friend from law school resides on the 22nd floor.

As our friend opened the door to her home, we were greeted by the welcoming smell of baked chicken and roasted new potatoes. We had cocktails, drank some wine, and enjoyed a wonderful meal. Conversation was relaxed, as we reminisced and shared our experiences over the past few years since we had seen each other. By the time dessert arrived, I was sated, but couldn't resist digging into baked pears and cherries drizzled with buttered rum sauce with a generous scoop of sweet cream ice cream. Stuffed, Nell and I bid our friend farewell and ventured back into the frigid, soggy night in route to the University Club and (hopefully) a good night's sleep.

The next morning, we awoke and caught the blue line to the Armory for the Marine Corps Marathon expo. We arrived before 10 a.m., so the line wasn't too bad. Inside, we picked up our race packets, activated our chips, and snagged our official competitor T-shirts. Nell got a "Virginia is for Runners" T-shirt, a marathon hat, and a long sleeve running top, and I picked up a pair of running sunglasses. After fattening our goodie bags with various running paraphernalia, we rode the Metro back to the hotel to drop off our wares.

Lunch was at Tony & Joe's on Washington harbor. Good crab cake sandwich. Nell, Shana, and I were joined by my parents and a few of their (and our) friends. After lunch, we walked around Georgetown for awhile, but, unexpectedly, my left ankle started to really hurt. So while the rest of the crew made their way to the Smithsonian museums, the White House, and the Washington Mall, I retired to the hotel to rest up and catch some college football.

About 1 hour into the Texas-Texas Tech game, we (Nell, Shana, mom, dad, and I) ventured to Olive's for dinner, a restaurant that promised to have the UT game playing in the bar for us to watch. This, it turned out, was not the case. So we traversed the blocks in and around our hotel looking for a more suitable eatery. When we were unable to locate a place with the game on, we settled for Tosca, a nice, upscale Italian restaurant. Very good food.

With full stomachs, we hailed a taxi back to the University Club. I caught the end of the game 2(Colt McCoy is the real deal, folks) and drifted off the sleep.

The marathon was 8 hours away....

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I really looking forward to the Marine Corps Marathon this Sunday. I don't have any specific goal in mind other than finishing and feeling decently well. I can take some soreness. I'm just hoping to avoid the residual pain that stuck around for weeks after last year's White Rock Marathon. But whatever happens, it's good to be running another one. For whatever reason, I like endurance events.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I always find the week or so before a marathon strange. No more long runs. No more serious training. Just some easy, short distances to keep the blood flowing. The goal is to hang out, stay healthy, and not do anything that might cause injury.

In other news, this will be the first weekend in about two months that I have nothing planned. Other than watching the UT game Saturday morning, the weekend in wide open.

I bet I get bored.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm getting excited about the Marine Corps Marathon next weekend. How quickly I forget the pain of my last marathon.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

First, the trial. Or, more accurately, the mistrial. The jury found zero damages for the plaintiff, but couldn't agree on liability. They deliberated from 11:15 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. or so and came back twice saying they were hopelessly deadlocked. So no verdict, which means we may have to do all of this again in a few months.

Second, the Austin trip. After getting back home late Thursday night, I met up with Will Friday afternoon for the drive to our college town. We picked up Rolo at the airport, checked into the hotel, and grabbed dinner at Manuel's. Following a package store run, we had some drinks at the hotel before hitting 4th/5th/6th Street. Some pool, some more drinks, and lots of nostalgic reminiscing took us to last call, after which we stumbled back to the hotel for some shut eye.

I got up earlier than the rest of guys Saturday morning and went for a 7 mile run through downtown, campus, West campus, and around Townlake. Around noon we had lunch at Texadelphia on the Drag before enjoying some bowling at the student union.

And how cool was bowling at the student union?

Well, so cool that we ran into fellow Texas alum and 7-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. Yep. He was there with family and friends and some guy named Jake Gyllenhal. Small world.

After bowling, we went by Hole in the Wall for a beer, then met up with Terry for a Miller Lite sponsored tailgate. The first couple quarters of the Texas-Baylor game were fun, but by the start of the second half we had left the stadium for Posse East, a bar just down the road.

By the time the Longhorns finished destroying the Bears 63-31, I was both inebriated and exhausted. So while the guys headed back downtown, I crashed at the hotel.

I was sleeping nicely until I got a phone call around 2:15 a.m. from Rolo telling me he was lost. Yep, lost. Our hotel was on the corner of 6th Street and I-35. How you get lost is beyond me. Just head towards the highway. Seems simple enough. But I guess not. So I put on my running shoes and started jogging through the mass of stoned co-eds. I was about a mile down the road when Rolo called to tell me he was sitting in the lobby of the hotel. Apparently, after he called me, he was able to catch a ride with some random dude. More than a little strange.

Anyway... now I'm back at the house getting ready for a trip to the store. Back in the routine.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

6:05 a.m. I'll be arguing our motion for directed verdict in about two hours. After closing statements, our case goes to the jury. Then we wait for a verdict.

The past few days have been a lot of fun. This was my first trip to the rodeo (i.e., my first district court trial). It's taken place in a small Texas town (population 1,500) about an hour and a half from Cowtown. So far, it's been an interesting--and enjoyable--experience. We'll see if my opinion sticks after the jury comes back.

I haven't run since last Saturday when I booked 15 miles before TX/OU. I've had a bit of ankle soreness and picked up a brace that I've been wearing the past few days. My ankle feels fine now, though, and I'm planning to go for 12 miles or so tomorrow.

That's it for now. Gotta tweak my argument and grab breakfast.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Another Saturday, but a shorter long run. Going for 15 miles this morning. (Nell and her running partner are gong for 22 miles. Have fun, ladies.) After the run, I'm hopping in a quick ice bath, showering, and heading to Dallas to enjoy the TX/OU game.

Yesterday, we picked a jury for our trial in Bosque County. I'll be giving the opening statement on Tuesday and putting on a few witnesses. So Sunday will spent at the office preparing. I hate preparing. But trial itself is fun. It's just the preparation that sometimes sucks. Not unlike running a marathon, come to think of it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Earlier this week, I had a physical exam at the doctor's office. I think it's the first physical I've had since 9th grade football.

Good news--no hernia or testicular cancer, and my cholesterol levels were right where they're supposed to be (86 HDL or good cholesterol, 59 LDL or bad cholesterol).

Somewhat surprising was my resting heart rate. According to the EKG, it's beating 37 times a minute. Apparently, that's low. Really low. Based on all the running/biking I do, my doc wasn't overly concerned. But she also noticed a slight heart murmur, so she wants me to schedule a stress test. A stress test involves measuring my heart rate before, during, and after I run on a treadmill. So sometime in the week after trial but before we leave for the Marine Corps Marathon, I've got to squeeze in a visit to the cardiologist.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Somebody started a blog....
We went to a big party/fundraiser last night at Joe T. Garcia's. It was fun, but having a margarita and a few beers completely throws off the next day. I woke up late, skipped my morning run, and sprinted into the office just before a 9 a.m. conference call. I felt sluggish until noon, when I skipped home for a quick 4-miler (8:21 per mile pace). The afternoon has been better, and I have crossed several big items off my list (and, of course, added several more to it). I also just found out that I am definitely going to trial next week. I got the word from the court coordinator that our case is number one on the jury docket. So Friday I'll be picking a jury. Saturday is a 15-miler followed by the State Fair and the TX/OU game. Sunday and Monday I'll be preparing for trial. Tuesday I give my first opening statement in district court.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I'm taking a break from the stack of cases I'm going through in preparation of a comprehensive memo for work. It's becoming rarer that I find myself tasked with drafting legal memoranda--I've "graduated," if you will, to more hands-on representation (e.g., hearings, pleadings/motions, briefs, etc.)--but on occasion I'm asked to "hit the books" (an antiquated term, as pretty much everything is online these days). I've got to meet a partner at the office in an hour. Sunday sure is a fun day.

Yesterday's run went very well, although my legs are a bit achy today. (Damn delayed onset muscle soreness!) I tried a new route for the first eight miles that led me down a deserted, seclued, tree-heavy road behind a cemetary. In the spirit of full disclosure, it was a little scary running through there at 6 a.m. The sun had yet to rise, and I couldn't see much more than a few feet in front of me. I probably picked up the pace a bit just to get onto the main trail.

Back on the well-traveled path, I booked along at a comfortable pace. It took me 2 hours, 46 minutes, or just about 9:15 per mile. Slower than a 4 hour marathon pace, but that's okay. While the sub-4 hour goal is out there, I'm not worried about it for the Marine Corps Marathon. The more immediate goal is to get through the race feeling good, as opposed to the week and a half of pain I was in after last year's White Rock.

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