Posted On July 1, 2009 By In The Phish Bowl And 623 Views

July 2009

TRIVIA QUESTION: How long did it take for the New York City Marathon to fill up this year?… …LIZA GALVAN HUNTER, 40, former Dallas White Rock Marathon Champion and 2008 Olympic 35th overall finisher (2:34:51), has tested positive for a banned substance, according to running web-site,, and the Sunday Star-Times newspaper from her home country of New Zealand. Hunter has recently run three marathons in three months (2:52, 2:42, 2:30). Hunter has won the San Antonio marathon six times, including her personal best 2:29:37 set in November 2008, winning the race four consecutive years at one point. Although rumors have circulated within running circles since the Beijing Olympics last year, this story broke over the July 4 weekend. She moved from New Zealand in 1988 to run cross country and track at UTSA (UT San Antonio). She now lives in San Antonio where she has represented the New Zealand in two Olympics, 2004 (2:50:23, 51st place) and 2008. Galvan has asked selectors not to pick her for August’s world championships team despite qualifying. At the 2004 DWRM, Galvan Hunter won with a time of 2:38:23, a 6:03 average pace per mile. Recently she has been the subject and cover of Texas Runner Magazine…. ….The distance of the DALLAS TURKEY TROT’s three mile run will be changed this coming year, and stretched to make it a competitive 5K for this coming November…. ….A relatively new cycling team has been created. TEXAS IRISH CYCLING was formed in 2006. The Texas Irish is a non-profit group that was created to raise money for local and national charities. What began as 18 riders is now a 40 to 50-person team of cyclists who ride for the joy of competition. They stress they are not professional athletes. “We are your neighbors and coworkers; male and female, young and old. We meet for weekly training rides and compete in events ranging from local club sponsored charity races to the USA Cycling National Road Festival. We want to be seen as a group who enjoys good health and the company of friends. We invite anyone that has a passion for cycling and fund raising to join us!” But they also feel that it is important to give back to the community. Over the last three years, the Texas Irish team has raised over $100,000 for the MS 150 charity ride.…. ….Runner RANDALL TURNER was in the news June 23 and 27.  ….MATTHEW CROWNOVER, one of the state’s best ultra-distance runners , competed in the famed Western States 100 Miler on June 27-28. After starting out at 5 a.m. in Lake Tahoe, NV, toward the back close to last place (226th), he was on a fast pace at mile 43 (9hrs, 40 min), and he worked up to 79th by mile 78, zeroing in on the famed 24 hour finishing mark (comparable to running a three hour marathon, or a five minute mile). This is a strategy that has worked well for Matt over the past year, PR’ing every distance from 5K up to 50 miles. But he got a little “rattled” after coming up on a five rattle snake on the trail through the California mountains. The course is a trail along a mountain ridge used to cross the U.S. back in the 1800’s. But the history was lost on a surface that was rough, hot, and wet, going over gravel, snow and soft dust. After crossing the Level four rapids of ice melt at mile 85, he was doing very well. But with less than ten miles to go, he got lost for two hours on the trail, circling back on himself. This was compounded by sleep deprivation and bonking. Once he realized his problem, he stopped, picked a flower, smelled it, and looked up at the stars to put life in perspective. “That was a dark night of the soul,” he said later. Matt works as a chaplain at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, giving last rights or counseling families. He said he worked to turn his attitude around, being grateful for being able to do this run, and thankful for all of nature. All this while his toes were torn up, and still had to climb over rocks and trees to get to the finish. He never lost heart, but he did lose five pounds during the ordeal while consuming over 7500 calories. To illustrate how difficult this year’s race was, two top names dropped out. DEAN KARNAZES and Texan SCOTT JUREK both did not finish, along with 150 others, or over half of the field that had to qualify to compete. In the end, Matt finished in Auburn, CA, at 6:40 a.m. the next day, 82nd overall, with a time of 25:40:40, missing the 24 hr. mark, yet still way ahead of the 30 hr. cut off, making all who know him, very proud. He was the only Texan to finish of 11 who started…. ….We’re not sure MARK OLETAJU was asking for punishment or penance. But he decided to enter the Two Hot Too Handle 15K on July 18, and the El Scorcho 25K later on at midnight. At 2H2H, Mark crossed the line in 1:03:13, 2nd in his age group. Fourteen hours later, he finished El Scorcho in 2:01:00, 19th place overall. “I took a nap between both events,” he said. “I was still worn out though!” An amazing achievement by an amazing athlete. Mark was interviewed for The Phast Times News in December, 2008. Even more amazing at those same two races, COLLEEN CASEY won the 2H2H 5K, and the El Scorcho 25K…. ….If you missed the EL SCORCHO’s web-site comments, here is the condensed version: “Dark. Steamy. Hot. Sweaty. You know you want it. Because it strokes our egos to have a bunch of crazies come out and run our race. Because a marathon is only the beginning. Because toenails are overrated. Because pain is enlightening. El Scorcho is a ridiculously foolish endurance run that takes place at midnight in the middle of the summer. Because we’re so nice, we give you a choice–run 25 km or 50 km. Both of them take a certain fortitude. Or stupidity. You make the call. If we’re lucky, we’ll have another hot, nasty July. Cause we want you to get your money’s worth. We may even leave out some tequila for you. 50 km finishers will also get something special. Not sure what it’ll be this year. But you’ll like it. Or you won’t. Either way, you’ll have an endurance run under your belt.”…. ….Famed endurance athlete SHANNA ARMSTRONG is moving to Dallas. She has evidently met a special man living here. She originally hails from Lubbock. Shanna has completed Race Across America (RAAM), the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii, and a 100 mile run in Colorado. Her resume is filled with race titles such as World Championship, Revenge, Ultraman, Mountain, and Furnace. And many, many “1st place overalls.’ She calls herself a “Gigathlete.” …. ….Long time runners DENNIS CHUPP (known for running races year round without a shirt) and MARY LEWELLYN were engaged on March 1st at Winfrey Point. “He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him,” says Mary. “Sounds like a Cinderella story!” They will be married September 13th. “We’re so excited!”…. ….CHELSEY SVEINSSON, the Addison Greenhill high school runner who just finished her sophomore year, is taking the country by storm. She ran 4:20.29 in the final heat at the 6th International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Youth Championships, Sunday, July 12, finishing 4th. Chelsey worked her way through the pack, starting at ninth and moving to sixth by 800 meters, before taking over fourth just after 1,200 meters. By that time, the top three had opened up a gap, with Chebet Ngeiywo pulling away from Dima midway through the final turn and going on to a comfortable win, 4:12.76 and 4:15.16, respectively. Terzic was third at 4:16.71 and Sveinsson was fourth at 4:20.29. Cory McGee (from Pass Christian, MS) finished ninth at 4:30.20. She is ranked 1st in the country. Believe it or not, coming into 2008-09, Sveinsson was a question mark of sorts. She had won two Nike Indoor Nationals (NIN) titles as a freshman with times of 2:08.46 (800 m) and 4:43.51 (1600 m), but a stress fracture had stunted the end of her track season. Could anyone have predicted that by the end of June, she would have three more national titles? Sveinsson’s cross country season began innocuously enough; while she won a pair of early-season meets, her times didn’t even get regional attention. But in October, she dominated the Cowboy Jamboree and the Chile Pepper Invite, establishing herself as a solid post-season contender. At Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) South, she defeated Texas 5A champ Sarah Andrews, showing a patient racing style that was in marked contrast to the way she ran as a frosh and establishing herself as one of the top runners in the country. Two weeks later in Portland, despite attempting the difficult Nike Cross N-Foot Locker double (she had been 3rd at FL South and would take 4th at FL Finals), she rolled to a course record 17:26 and won by 9 seconds. After bypassing indoors, Sveinsson exploded on the outdoor scene with a pair of then-US #1’s (10:12.11 – 3200, 4:46.47 – 1600) at the Texas Relays, then captured the Penn Relays mile in 4:46.85, another #1 at the time. Then came an invite for the Reebok Grand Prix 1500 in New York, where she was 15th, but ran 4:18.13, good for #9 all-time. At Nike Outdoor Nationals (NON), she fashioned one of the greatest distance doubles ever, dominating the one mile and two mile in US #1’s of 4:40.24 and 10:04.85, both sophomore records, and #7 and #9 all-time. Finally, she concluded with a World Youth Trials 1500 win and 4th at the World Youth Champs. The Texan will be the girl to beat nationally for the second half of her prep career.

….TAMMY ROONEY, 52, of Tyler, is a long time racer in the Dallas area, doing runs, triathlons, and duathlons. On July 20 she tied Chris Phelan for the oldest person to win overall at one of Thruston Racing’s White Rock Lake Duathlons. Her finish time was 59:21 for the 2-10-2 event…. ….FRANCES MCKISSICK has a new bike. For the Summer Solstice Du on June 21, “I used my new bike which was Bronda’s Cannondale. Scott and Ron Starling surprised me with it at my birthday party back in April. The bike is fantastic but I was not at full capacity yesterday. ”…. ….BRANDON BARNETT ran Colorado’s Burro Race (15 miles tethered to a donkey) on July 25. His inspiration? “Because Bart Yasso did it.”…. ….The PARIS BIKE RALLY on July 18, held in Paris, TX, had its share of disasters. The field of 871 cyclists is moderate by local rally standards. But the bike ride had five people so badly injured in the numerous crashes, they had to be transported to area hospitals…. ….An unusual occurrence took place at the Craig Ranch Cooper Clinic Sprint Triathlon in McKinney on July 25. DEBORAH PUSKARICH, 47, who sang the national anthem ALSO finished the race. As far as anyone can tell, this is the first time this has happened of any race in north Texas. The Fairview resident is the facility’s group exercise director and used to sing in a band back in New York before she got married and moved to Texas…. ….JACK WEISS resigned as the Chairperson of the National Duathlon Committee for USA Triathlon. “It was over philosophical differences on duathlon,” he said. “I don’t know if they replaced me or not, actually I’ve been way too busy Race Directing to find out.” When asked if there had been a conflict of interests, Jack responded, “I don’t race enough anymore to have a conflict of interest.”…. ….A free kids triathlon and clinic is being held Aug 15 at the Grapevine/Colleyville ISD Natatorium, located on the Grapevine/Colleyville border, intersection of Pool road and Hwy 26. The race starts at 10 am, is for ages 19 and under, and is limited to the first 100 athletes. The distances are: 7-10 years = 50yds swim, 3k bike, ½ mile run; 11-14 = 100yds swim, 6k bike, 1 mile run; 14-19= 150 yds swim, 9k bike, 1.5 mile run. There is a $5 fee as part of being a USA Triathlon event, and a $2 pool entrance fee. E-mail to register.  You can also go to …. ….DARLENE HESS was hit from behind while cycling, July 1, around 7am on Mockingbird Lane while waiting for the Buckner service road light. She was admitted to Baylor Hospital in severe pain. According to friend JANE DYNIS, “Darlene was hit by a car this morning on her way home from her ride. She was on Mockingbird and Buckner and thinks the man could not see her since they were looking into the sun.” Her fractures extend to the mid-back and lower back. They include two crushed vertebrate in her lower back, C-1 and C-6 in her neck, and both first ribs, located right under the collar bone. Road rash extended from her face to her knees. She had to have surgery to place pins in her back July 6. Once at home, friends and family were rallying around to help take care of her, her home, and her dog, Scarlet. She was also unable to drive. AMY JACOBY TURNER coordinated a schedule to assist with bringing food, running errands, and shopping. DIANE GOLDEN said, “She is just feeling lucky her injuries were not any worse. She began using a walker to get around. Her mother says that totally exhausts her. Even getting a bath exhausts her. It’s hard to grasp the thought of Darlene being exhausted, isn’t it? I want to say, ‘You’re not talking about Darlene, are you?’” But, by July 18, she was up to slowly walking three miles. “The doctor encouraged me to walk asap,” Darlene said on July 22nd. “So I started with one mile and built up to three. The pain level is a five, down from a nine. And I’m taking less and less pain meds. I hope to be off by next week completely.” She said her first check up went well. Staples were removed and the wound looks clean. Her restricted movement makes it hard to cook, “But I’m overwhelmed with the food people have been bringing. Still need help bathing and dressing. But once the neck brace goes away in 4-5 weeks, I will be so much more mobile. And sleep better.” She wants to start back to work, half days, August 3rd. “We’ll see how that works out as my job is a 30 minute drive and I will have to be car-pooled until all braces are gone.” Ever positive, Darlene says, “In the big picture, I am doing great and feel so very blessed. I am a bit daunted by all the attention. Just want all my cycling friends to continue to ride defensively, with helmets and blinkers on and carry ID at all times. Thanks for your support.”…. ….The COEUR D’ALENE IRONMAN TRIATHLON was held June 21. Conditions were not good for the athletes as the swim was very choppy, and it rained for most of the race. Temperatures were in the low 50’s. HAROLD WILSON finished with a time of 10:22:57 missing his PR by 32 seconds over the 140.6 miles of swimming, biking, and running. Other area finishers include KRISTINA MARTIN (12:08:03, her second Ironman. She did 11:40 at Redman last year.), TOM HULSEY (13:49:42, his 6th Ironman), and MICHAEL MONTGOMERY (14:49:43, this was his third Ironman, his second after hip surgery. He ran the Grand Canyon race, Rim To Rim (R2R) on July 25.). Harold said, “The swim was choppy but I was able to get in a rhythm. Had a descent time considering the conditions. Got out of the swim in about 30th in my age group at about 1:05. The bike was slow for me this year. No excuses for that; it was part of the game plan. I was setting myself up for a fast run. Got off the bike after about five hours, 35 minutes, and in 43rd in my age group. Now for the run. I took the run out smooth for the first 5K. People were exploding all over the place, as they often do at Ironman. I was progressing my effort and knew I had to make up some time due to the positions lost on the bike. By mile 15 on the run I had moved up 15 positions in my age group. I was holding 7:15-7:20 per mile and feeling good. Race and nutrition plan was working well and I was on the move. At this point I was still thinking I could get to that 10:05 [finish time] with about a 3:15 marathon. At mile 20-22 on the run things started to slow down and I lost my good feeling on the run. My pace went from 7:20 to 11:05 and I lost over 15 minutes in the last 4-5 miles. Ended up running a 3:35 marathon and maintained my 30th position. Finished at 10:22. Last year my time would have given me a Top 15 for sure. This year was crazy competitive. For example, the guy who won my age group finished at 9:10 and placed 10th overall. He beat most of the professionals. If he had raced in the pro division he would have been in the money. Overall had a blast. Next Ironman is in May 2010 in St. George Utah. See ya at the races!!” From TOM HULSEY: “I made a couple of tactical mistakes in the swim and bike. The day before, I was talked into using a long-sleeve wetsuit. The long-sleeve wet suit tired my shoulders out. I wasn’t used to it. As a result, I had to work harder and [got] over-heated. My second loop [on the two loop swim course] was seven minutes slower than the first. I should have been faster with more open water and my great swim endurance. This lead to the second mistake. I made the decision in transition to only wear a sleeveless top on the bike because I was hot. I froze on the bike, hence, all the stops (11), including several where I had to wait in line for the port-a-potty. If I had gone with what I was comfortable with, a sleeveless wetsuit, I don’t believe I would have experienced these issues. The tired upper body impacted my bike, too. I’ve never come out of the water feeling so weakened. Mentally I was not in great shape either. Just before the swim start I learned that my rear tire lost 40 pounds of pressure over night. I worried about it the whole swim and kept checking it when I was on the bike. Stupid mistakes. I should have known better. Yep, I learned the hard way on this one.” On July 1, an MRI showed Tom had three broken bones in his foot, two in his toes, and “the fascia was close to rupturing. The radiologist can’t believe I can even walk.”…. ….At the CATS Half Ironman Mountain Triathlon, June 6, in Conway, AR, DAVID RICHARDSON, 42, won overall with a time of 4:39:38. His splits were 31:22 for the 1.2 mile lake swim, 2:25:51 for the 56 mile hilly bike ride, and a 1:40:08 half marathon (13.1 mile run). MICHELLE BOYER, 40, also did the race, winning her age group with a 5:42:46. CATHERINE PAULSON, 42, won the very competitive Athena Division with a time of 6:04:26. All three are coached by CHUCK HOBBS. Also, JOHN RICCA, 60, won his age group with a time of 6:40:48….. ….Triathlete CELINA RICHARDSON has been dominating CAT 3 cycling events…. ….At the famed Firecracker 5K, in Little Rock, AR on July 4, there were some outstanding performances by area runners. STEPHEN ARIGA, 35, was 3rd overall with a 14:30 (4:40 pace), while DEBBIE ARZOLA, 34, finished 2nd overall in 17:17 (5:34). SUZANNE BUTLER, 32, and MEGAN WELCH, 18, also completed the race…. ….Run On’s GEORGE KEMPSTON’s wife DEBORAH, passed away June 26, of cancer. The memorial service was July 1 at Restland. A note from runner SHEILA NATHO, was read at the service. Deborah was Shelia’s 8th grade science teacher in 1980, at Lake Highlands Junior High School. “I think the class was actually called ‘arth Science’ so we covered a wide range. Deborah would always have that funny smile and wry sense of humor. She would say something like, ‘I am sure you are SO glad to be here and are SO much wanting to learn today.”

“Speed forward to 10 years. I am at the Joe Pool Lake Pumpkin Run. I am hanging around at the awards and notice a person wearing a Lake Highlands T-shirt in front of me. I get to looking at the lady wearing the t-shirt and I am thinking to myself, ‘That sure looks like Ms.Thomas. I did not know she is a runner.” Lo and behold, it was Deborah and she even remembered me right down to my grades. Ouch! I would see Deborah at all the races. She started running with the famous Thursday Night Group. I think she might have even run a few runs with the Hash House Harriers. She went from being a teacher to a good friend. She will be greatly missed and I am glad she is now in a better place.”…. ….Update on runner EDDIE PASCASIO, 42,who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in March ‘09, having never smoked : due to unexpected complications, he was not able to have surgery here in Dallas this summer. He and wife Jenni went to Tulsa, OK in mid-July for additional care. Eddie and Jenni continue to be optimistic, still fighting hard.

Q: How long did take for the New York City Marathon to fill up this year?

A: According to the July 8, 2009 edition of The Wall Street Journal (, “The New York City Marathon, which costs $225 to enter, filled up in 22 minutes this year, compared to eight hours last year. This year has seen a big jump in participation, up 5.1%, according to Athlinks. Rob Vermillion, executive director of the Oregon Track Club Elite, which trains Olympic hopefuls, says elite track-and-field athletes coming out of college these days are more likely to pursue their athletic careers because the job market is so slow. ‘The economy is so terrible that they might as well run,’ he says. As a result, Mr. Vermillion says the team, which caps membership at 20 people, has had to cut world-class runners who would in all other years make the cut with no problem.

“Now go into the world in peace, have courage, hold on to what is good. Honor all men, be just, and show kindness. Strengthen the faint hearted, support the weak, help the suffering. Love, share, and believe. And may grace always be with you.”


North Texas Dominates
Husband and wife couple, TYLER and ASHLEY JOHNSON, were among those to lead a Texas takeover of the Kansas City Half Ironman, June 6. The newlyweds, not yet celebrating their first anniversary (featured on the cover of The Phast Times News, Sept 2008), have realistically become Dallas’ triathlon power couple, by each qualifying for the World Championship Half Ironman race held in Clearwater, Florida, November 14. However, besides the Johnson’s, who live near White Rock Lake’s Flag Pole Hill and train and race locally, other area names were recognizable among the leaders. BEN MORAN, JACOB EVANS (Phast Times News feature story, Feb 2009), and GERALD JACKSON (to be featured later this year), were all among those finishing the 1.2 mile open water swim, 56 mile hilly bike, and 13.1 mile run. Overall north Texas residents did amazingly well at the out of town race, almost making it their home turf. Not bad for a bunch of land locked flatlanders. Well done! (Results below.) PTN

  1. 3:54:05            James Cotter               Austin
  2. 3:55:46            Brandon Marsh           Austin
  3. 4:07:19            Brent Poulse               Ft. Worth
  4. 4:21:38            Amy Marsh                Austin
  5. 4:22:12            Ben Moran                  Dallas
  6. 4:22:24            Jacob Evans                Midlothian
  7. 4:23:41            Tyler Johnson           Dallas
  8. 4:39:50            Brian Miller                Keller
  9. 4:42:33            Lael Martin                 McKinney
  10. 4:44:27            Jim Lukani                  Grapevine
  11. 4:46:00            Ashley Johnson        Dallas
  12. 4:48:23            Gerald Jackson            Carrollton
  13. 4:52:52            Johnny Richey             Denton
  14. 4:54:20            Jake Oergel                  Plano
  15. 4:54:52            Michael Melder          Dallas
  16. 4:55:01            Dave Coussirat           Flower Mound
  17. 4:59:11            Kevin Roberts             Forney
  18. 5:03:53            Scott King                   Grapevine
  19. 5:05:28            David Gillen                Flower Mound
  20. 5:06:59            Ryan Watson              Dallas
  21. 5:08:05            Joan Stepler                McKinney
  22. 5:09:19            John Amundson          Cedar Park
  23. 5:09:54            Michael Patrick           Denton
  24. 5:09:58            Archie Salters              Denton
  25. 5:09:58            Jamie Dake                  Little Elm
  26. 5:10:37            David McManic         Southlake
  27. 5:11:35            Thomas Bell                Dallas
  28. 5:12:43            Alison Peters              Ft. Worth
  29. 5:14:38            Brad Kelly                  Carrollton
  30. 5:15:28            Bret Heintz                 Southlake
  31. 5:18:46            Tomer Tzafrir             Allen
  32. 5:20:40            Katherine Rhodes       Carrollton
  33. 5:21:53            Lisa Powell                 Frisco
  34. 5:22:40            Paul Stepler                 McKinney
  35. 5:26:55            Jeff Stepler                  Irving
  36. 5:27:58            Chad Smith                 Dallas
  37. 5:31:13            Ronny Guerrer            Plano
  38. 5:34:29            Mike Ranieri               Allen
  39. 5:35:04            Jeff Booher                 Keller
  40. 5:39:01            Chris Bell                    Ft. Worth
  41. 5:39:50            Russell Lindsey          Dallas
  42. 5:40:10            Bobby Folsom             Denton
  43. 5:43:52            Norbert Motte            Dallas
  44. 5:44:05            Darla Shinn                 Dallas
  45. 5:45:10            Aimee Pingenot           Frisco
  46. 5:45:56            John Sherwood           Highland Village
  47. 5:46:01            Greta Knoll                 Waco
  48. 5:46:15            Eduardo Guerra           McKinney
  49. 5:46:48            Lucinda Melder           Dallas
  50. 5:49:20            Brandon Swain            Ft. Worth
  51. 5:50:30            Rick Middaugh           Plano
  52. 5:51:43            Richard Johnson         Carrollton
  53. 5:51:58            Laurie Lukanich          Grapevine
  54. 5:54:35            Lorinda Putter             Allen
  55. 5:54:58            David Dres                  Plano
  56. 6:00:35            Maury Hundley          Denton
  57. 6:06:32            Kevin Erickson           Coppell
  58. 6:09:32            David Guarriello         Plano
  59. 6:11:32            Sherri McCarter          McKinney
  60. 6:16:13            Kathy Williams           Allen
  61. 6:19:20            Leon Williams             McKinney
  62. 6:20:32            Rob Spurgeon             Dallas
  63. 6:22:41            David Bauerle             Lewisville
  64. 6:22:57            Debbie Hogue             McKinney
  65. 6:28:29            Ginna Getto                Dallas
  66. 6:28:55            Derek Rude                 McKinney
  67. 6:31:16            Tom Turner                Dallas
  68. 6:32:35            Brooke Lemmons        Plano
  69. 6:34:01            Keith Pinck                 Coppell
  70. 6:34:19            Deborah McGregor     Plano
  71. 6:36:26            Manuel Houellemont  Plano
  72. 6:36:53            Andre Mora                Coppell
  73. 6:38:21            Darrick Walls              Southlake
  74. 6:40:36            Jeff Smith                    Dallas
  75. 6:44:05            Maureen Motte          Dallas
  76. 6:44:46            Brad Crow                  Dallas
  77. 6:46:01            Gail Spurgeon             Dallas
  78. 6:46:37            Sabrina Dorris             McKinney
  79. 6:50:32            Amy Turner                Dallas
  80. 7:12:22            John Goodman            Irving
  81. 7:16:19            Stacy Guerra               McKinney
  82. 7:28:38            Kristin Scott               Bedford
  83. 7:50:58            Shiryl White                McKinney
  84. 7:53:46            Bill Dixon                    McKinney
  85. 7:58:14            John Cobb                   Tyler
  86. 8:02:55            Sandy Simons             The Colony

NIKKI DAVIS: #1, 2, & 3

“Confessions of a Coach” is a personal blog regarding my own training. I’ve been coaching others for a while now. I feel there is always room for improvement. I learn the best through experience. So, I hired a coach to train me to become Boston Qualified. I know the coach will push me and challenge me to stretch beyond my reach, and that will only make me a better coach and runner. But little did I know that decision would bring me back around to all the struggles I had when I first started running and create some brand new ones as well! Boy, I didn’t see that coming! So I made a decision to share my experience as a runner being coached. I can read about running all day, but it’s the action I take that creates the journey. Let me assure you, I’m being pushed to another level as an athlete and a coach!


Ok, I know it’s every Coaches’ dream for their runners to become faster than them. But, I am NOT READY for everyone to start smoking me! There are a tremendous amount of benefits as a result of speed work training. However, speed work is not just about running faster. It’s also about moving as efficiently as possible. Many experts agree that improved speed, even in some body movements, will result in measurable improvement in all other movements as well. Even if you’re not competing, moving more efficiently, and therefore faster, means that you pack more work into any given time spent exercising. Cardiovascular improvement and muscular power are additional benefits of increased speed that every runner can appreciate, whether racing or not.

Missing Link: Confessions of a Coach: Alright, my eating habits got off to a bad start this week. After our Monday Night Birthday Run, I had cupcakes with sprinkles, Starbucks, pizza, and the rest of Tricia’s pasta. It’s all kind of a blur. I had a major sugar buzz going on that I now have come to call a “Sweet Blackout.” But by Tuesday, I had jumped back on track, eating healthy once more. I try to follow Nancy Clark’s suggestions on calorie intake. Yes, I’m counting calories and fueling myself  like a runner again! Every day it’s been egg whites, yogurt, turkey wraps with a veggie side of spinach or green beans, a banana and my dinner has been sushi or grilled chicken with a good side veggie, rice, or whole wheat pasta. I’m starting to feel better and was able to keep up, charging Flagpole hill.

Follow a Training Schedule!?!: Now, my next goal is to manage to get all of my workouts in. My coach has me run Flagpole Hill, or track work, and then bike for 30 minutes on Tuesdays; run eight miles on Thursday – with two of those miles at tempo pace, and bike for 30 minutes; on Sunday, run 14 miles, and then bike for 30 minutes. There are a few other runs in there as well. I’m like “WHAT!” BIKE!?! Eight miles on a Thursday!?!” Does he not know that I have a full-time job!?! I’m thinking my coach must be crazy!?! Those were just a few of the thoughts that crossed my mind as I study the “Get Me Boston Qualified Training Schedule.” One major flaw that I have is not following instructions! Being a running coach, I’m used to making the schedule and giving the orders. (I meant to say instructions.) OK, after a few days freaking out, I asked to meet with my coach. He responded back with “Are you going to throw something at me?” LOL. I’m glad he said that, because it got me to adjust my thinking pattern. I asked my coach to help me get Boston Qualified and now he is giving me the tools (schedule) to help me reach my goals. I knew I would have to make a mental commitment! I’ve said over and over again, running is 90% mental and 10% physical. I truly believe I can physically do this. Now the challenge is to overcome my mental roadblocks. I’m now left with no choice but to become a good student. Especially, since I’ve told everyone this is my goal for the current year.

There are hundreds and hundreds of runners, who work 40+ hours a week and are married with children that set goals and work hard to achieve them. The rewards you receive from working hard for something can truly be amazing! One of the greatest things about running is the self-discovery and self-confidence that comes from getting your body and mind to accomplish what once seemed impossible. You can have a coach, training groups, support of friends and family, but the bottom line is you have to do all the running and training that is required to reach your goals. It’s all you! So is my goal of getting my eating habits back in-order. My next goal is to mentally get behind the training and follow my coach’s schedule.

My Goals This week: Fueling my body like a runner (OK, I’m doing good right now, at least until the next birthday run.), abs challenge, (Check! Doing good so far.), mentally getting into the training (Attempting. I AM aware!), and follow the training schedule.


“I’m starting to feel like a real athlete…well this week anyway!” That’s what I wrote last week.

Well, not this week. I can’t even call my mistakes last week rookie mistakes. Rookie mistakes are simply “not knowing any better.” Mine are what we call insanity! I’ve made the same mistakes over and over again.

I preach and preach about the importance of getting the right shoes and replacing your shoes in a timely manner-right! You always hear me saying…”Shoes are the number one reason for injuries. You must take care of your feet!” The whole time I was telling you this, my shoes were five to six months old! I never buy two pairs at a time like the pro’s tell you and like I tell you, as well. I never remember to write down the date I buy them and I always end up paying the price!

Here is one of my golden rules: do what I say, not what I do! I started having some foot problems. Duh #1! I let Matt pace my tempo runs (never let Matt pace you, unless you are ready to run 7:30 per mile pace). That’s when I realized the problem. Oh, it’s about time for some new shoes. A few days later, Bryan Crabb and I were about five miles into a 13 mile run when I decided to stop and change the way I tie my old shoes. Duh #2! The result was foot cramps for the rest of the day.

The only smart thing I did do was not to run on Monday. I wanted to make sure I was right about needing new shoes! Duh #3!

OK, let’s move on to the next one. Monday night was Bryan’s birthday party. Along with running and Starbucks, hanging out with friends ranks right up there as one of my favorite things to do. I like being one of the last people to leave a party! I sat there until 11pm knowing I had to be up at 5am to run. Not just for a run, but for speed workout. I knew that once I got home, I would not be able to resist uploading pictures from the party to my social network sites!

Five AM came really fast! I was supposed to do 6 x 800m. …But, I was running short on time, so I didn’t properly warm-up with a mile or two before doing my workout. I would never let any of my Runwell Runners do any type of workout without first doing at least a one mile warm up. “Go out the first couple of miles, easy, warm up, then pick up the pace and run harder.”

My warm up was more like a quarter mile. It was almost enough to wake up my legs and get them mad at me. It turned out to be a morning of mental and physical abuse! I’m amazed at how many self-defeating thoughts you can have in under 4 minutes. Well, my coach got six 800’s out of me, with one at my target time. The rest were, …well, …I did six! Okay?!

I’m not going to mention that while at the party, how I tried to convince my coach that since I was doing my 800’s at the lake, it would not be 800 meters, but more like a 1/2 mile, that my goal time should a little longer-right!?! When Coach Phelan didn’t answer and called Bryan over to witness what I had said, then I knew I must be asking a blonde question. It turns out that 800 meters, 880 yards, and a 1/2 mile are all, in fact, the same distance. So, let’s forget I asked that one.

So this week, I failed at: resting, training schedule, and speed work. But, hey, I did fuel my body properly all week. Except for Monday and Wednesday, but that doesn’t count because they were both Birthday Runs!

My training to get Boston qualified is going to be a roller coaster ride. It’s weird because it seems I’m much smarter as a coach than when I am being coached. You runners have to keep up with a lot in order to perform well. So my tips for this week are “What NOT to do”, and I’m sure you can figure out what they are from my confessions.


I’ve done pretty well! I’ve managed to follow my really big overwhelming training schedule! Yippee! I’ve gotten in a few 15 milers, some nine milers with tempo training, speed work, and a few runs with my Runwell Training Team. I even got one of my bike rides in! As of July 1st, I’ve been able to follow the schedule. I’ve had to switch most of my evening runs to early morning runs. I am trying to balance my training, Runwell Training, and some social – family time. It’s been a mental challenge for me! I have realized that I have been trying to find a way not to succeed – old habits. Before I took up running, my life was a continuation of good starts but never finishing. A lot of great ideas for myself, but I would find reasons not to finish. When I started running, some years ago, the idea of training as a runner came to me from left field. I promise! This thought was not even on my radar. Amazingly, that has been the one thing that I started and I have continued with consistency. I picked a goal, trained for it, and TA-DA…I finished what I set out to do. That one theme has overlapped in all my affairs! That’s a great thing. Along with that, it has empowered me to become a risk taker in life. Now, I put myself out there and it’s exciting to see what happens. Let’s face it, challenges are a lot easier if you just give up! It takes a tremendous amount of courage to keep trying, while not knowing if you will succeed. Starting Runwell Training was another big risk. You will hear me say, again and again, that running is more mental than physical for me. So with all my fears and excuses in my arsenal, I decided to go back to one of my old motto’s; “Bring the body and the mind will follow!”

I’m having to do a lot of self-talk just like the speeches I give to new runners. Show up! If you show up for your training runs, guess what? You become a better runner. If you follow the training schedule, you will hit your goal. On top of all that, it’s forcing me to get more sleep and fuel my body properly. There is no way that I can perform without rest and fuel. Okay, I can assure you that I’m not through talking smack about the training schedule and I’m still a little convinced that my coach is crazy when he is making up my schedule. However, my mantra of “Bring the body and the mind will follow!” seems to be working right now…so I will keep using it.

About Running: On the one hand, running is easy. Get the right shoes and walk out the door. It can be done anywhere. But, on the other hand, there’s a lot that can go into running. Bring all the pieces of the puzzle together to create a truly amazing experience. It takes time, patience, and a willingness to listen. An amazing journey starts by taking a step toward something that  you once thought was impossible. Running has changed my life and filled my circle with friends and personal achievements. But, make no mistake: it is work! But, it is also a joy! You enter a relationship with yourself, learning how to fuel your body, challenge your spirit, push past your limitations. You learn to listen to your body and care for yourself. You learn to be an athlete! There is a lot to it. One of the most important tools that will guarantee success….SHOW UP! Suit-up and show-up for workouts, no matter what your head is telling you to do. If you let yourself, you can find plenty of reasons to not workout. That can be so easy to do. The challenge, at first, is to find thatone reason to workout. One reason to begin a new journey. One reason to change your entire life. I am a runner and I run for a reason! Just SHOW UP!

There’s more coming later, but for now… I’ve gotta run.

Run Always. Runwell. Your Coach, Nikki,, You can see an interview with Nikki at:   PTN

Cycling at White Rock Lake

An idea is being circulated about changing the traffic direction on the east side of White Rock Lake, in front of the Arboretum, to make cycling safer, while also appeasing other lake users. RICK MABUS writes the below letter.

To the WRL Roadies:

I wanted to touch base with you guys and let you all know I am working on trying to get a hold of the parks department to see about reversing the direction of the traffic flow on the back side of the arboretum.

That being said I wanted to make some comments about ideas for the Tuesday/Thursday ride. I am not totally convinced skipping the Bath House hill is a good thing right now.  First, it puts us going through more barricades. These are downhill barricades, which furthers our risk factor. This also puts us right in the byways with pedestrians and runners and whatnot, which may not be our best PR move. Finally I am OK with stopping at one stop sign to impress the police if that is what it takes. So I propose a vote. I for one, am voting for putting the Bath House hill back in the rotation.  What say you all?

I have been thinking about how the Katy trail has been so successful and how the cyclist voice at White Rock is constantly ignored. We have no unity!!

I want to propose a White Rock Club Coalition and suggest that we spend some time and energy getting our voice out there, not in a selfish way, but in a respectful way to the runners and walkers who are also a fantastic part of the lake. I think we need to be officially recognized and get involved with the city. I think we need to look at the friends of the Katy Trail as an example. I think we need to work to raise money and awareness for the lake. I think it would be good for us to adopt part of the shoreline for cleanup.  Bottom line is we need to get some unity going and protect not only our interest in the lake but protect the lake in general.

Finally, I know I have very little time outside of work and my family and other community things. The [mornings are] running out of time in the day for outside stuff, but I am worried that the TED BAKERS of the world will rightfully voice their opinions and we will not be strong enough to work with folks like him to find some common ground.

This is what I might propose. Maybe we should host an open forum for cyclists. Invite the Katy Trial folks, invite the city, and have a discussion about how to better put our voice in there to make sure we are heard. Let’s get an action plan together and start to get involved and make sure that all the competing interests at the lake can share some common ground. My level of commitment would be for finding a place to host such a forum and then see where this goes. Who’s with me??!!


The Ride of Silence: Payback

Dear Fellow Cyclist,

From the first time I heard about the idea behind the Ride of Silence, I thought it was a good idea. A simple ride, styled after a funeral procession, to memorialize the riders who have lost their lives on the public roadways.

Since that first event in 2003, the Ride of Silence has resonated with cyclists all over the globe. In 2008, Ride of Silence events were held in 296 cities in 50 states and 18 countries.

This past May, just before the Dallas Ride of Silence, I learned of a breakdown in communication between the volunteers planning the event and the City of Dallas Office of Special Events. I contacted individuals in the Office of Special Events, who were most helpful in working out a solution.

Since the first Ride of Silence in Dallas/2003, several officers on the Dallas Police force had voluntarily donated their time to the event. For a number of reasons, those officers were unavailable and event organizers were caught off guard. With no funding in place for the cost of the police support for the event, estimated at $1600, the event could have been cancelled. Volunteers were scrambling for solutions and the media was circling. I asked the Office of Special Events to move ahead with the event, promising them that we would pay the fees for the police support.

This past week, I received the $1,357.80 invoice for the cost of police support for the 2009 event.

While I have a group of individuals who are willing to pay this invoice, my personal belief is that this event belongs to the entire cycling community (the event has no fees, no shirts, no sponsors). It seems appropriate that the entire cycling community collectively pay the bill, which is why I am writing this letter.

Please join me in showing your support for the Ride of Silence – and demonstrating to the City of Dallas Office of Special Events how much you appreciate their support of this event. Here is how we can accomplish those tasks:

Send a check or money order in the amount of $1 to:

609 Trail View Lane
Garland, TX  75043

Any excess funds will be applied to the 2010 event. Please show your support for cycling and the Ride of Silence. Send in your $1 check today – and forward this email to all your cycling friends and ask them to join us in this effort.

Chris Phelan, Founder, and Bikin’ Mike Keel

Best of 2008

That’s right. Last month’s Best of 2008 was not complete. There was more to include from a year that was rocked economically, as well as historically. Here is the rest of the year’s high lights and low lights.


Jan – The city closes discussions on spillway construction to begin Feb ‘09

Jun – 4 Cyclists are killed in three accidents with motorists in seven days (June 8-14)

Jun – DRC initiates meeting to help with cycling problem, using WRL as a model

Jul 8 – Bronda Starling dies of cancer

Aug – The Texas Tough series

Oct 6 – White Rock Lake spillway repair construction begins

Nov 2 – Introduction of the paper disposal timing chip at the DRC Half Marathon

Nov 2 – runners are hit by a car after DRC Half Marathon

Dec 13 – Rio King is awarded the Victory Award by the DWRM Board



Dan Clubb



“The following local Dallas athletes were NOT in the movie, ‘The Crying Game.’ Ahmed Zaher, Ron Trebendis and Todd Codish. Tom Ryan’s 2006 taxes are due on October 15. True or False? Tom Ryan was suspended 68 days during high school, had a long embrace with Bo Derek, had lunch in Burt Reynolds house, knows three Korean cuss words?” – Texas Man web site

“I don’t care if you’re wearing Blue Tooth, green tooth, or black teeth. I don’t care. You’re not allowed to wear them at my races.” – Jack Weiss



The Ride Of Silence



You think you’re in a slump and you’ll get better. At some point you realize you’re old and you need to quit crying and get on with things.” Linda Kelly, May 23



Shaheen Sattar after being hit head on by an SUV, runs 2:06 at the DWRM Half!



Mike Keel’s Bikin’ Blast

January 12: 35 people for the 8 am class, and 27 at 9:30. “The parking lot was already filling up when I pulled in at 7:30am. What a kick in the head.”



Super Bowl convergence in the West End, Feb 3



BEST NEW NAME: “The Undy 5000, A Brief Run,” Nov 1

BEST BIKE RALLY: Dallas’ own Tour Dallas

BEST UNDERGROUND BIKE RIDE: Tuesday/Thursday mornings, White Rock Lake

BEST (and biggest) RACES IN DALLAS: The Uptown Run, DRC Half Marathon, YMCA Turkey Trot (30,000+), and the Dallas White Rock Marathon

BEST UNDERGROUND SWIM: Lake Ray Hubbard on Fridays

(Definition of “Under Ground:” not advertised except by word of mouth, and emails. No charge, no sponsors, no profit.)

WORST: July’s Two Hot Too Handle due to water stations and subsequent email apologizing

WORST START: St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville, 3/15; two trucks (one a rock hauler) attempts to drive in the direction against the hundreds already lined up

WORST DIVISIONS: Lennox Tour des Fleur, 9/20; With “Open” and “Elite” divisions it became confusing who was racing who. Technically, there could be two overall winners, and two of everything else.

BEST UNDERGROUND RUNS: Tuesday Morning Hill Run, 5:30, 6 miles, meets at the top of Flag Pole Hill

Steve Marsdens’ Little Night Run on Sept 13: “My place, around the lake, back to my place. Almost a full moon! Why? Because we can. What to bring? A flashlight and your sense of adventure.”



BIKE: Mike Keel – Happy New Rear, Tour Dallas, and Collin County Classic

TRIATHLON: Ahmed Zaher, Francis Cortese

RUN: Marcus Grunewald – DWRMarathon, Francis McKissick – DRC Breakfast Bash



TO SWIM: to cross Lake Ray Hubbard (or similar local lake)

TO BIKE: to get home after your car gets too expensive to run or breaks down

TO RUN: To watch the development of White Rock Lake

TO TRAIN: to be a part of one of Dallas’ premier events: The marathon, cycling rally, triathlon, or duathlon.



Rose City Triathlon, Tyler, TX, September 20, in crayon, looks like a 2nd grade art assignment –



JEFF BURROWS came upon a mountain biker on April 5 while running in the Plano Nature Preserve, seconds after the cyclist dropped off a 6 foot ravine by accident. He wasn’t wearing a helmet. Burrows immediately assisted him, then called 911. Burrows took possession of his bike and rode it home. He says, “It’s REAL nice.”



The persistence of Performance Bike emails! (Get a clue, guys.)

Feb 24: A $4 processing fee on top of the registration fee for the Cowtown Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K

July 8: Bronda Starling dies of cancer

July: Two Hot Too Handle water stations and email apologizing




Spring Fever bike rally, 3/24: 69

Run the Highlands, 4/26: 148, not including an additional 62 groups listed as “Friends.”

Cotton Patch bike rally, 9/15: 46

Dallas White Rock Marathon, 12/9: 44


Michael Montgomery’s shirt worn during his Ironman, 24 weeks after hip replacement; “New Birmingham Hip Replacement…$39,000. Finishing Ironman 6 Months Later…priceless.”


Cow Creek Classic bike rally, 6/23; cow’s udders dragging on the back tire of a bike. Ouch!



Lucy Silvas: “Some girls chase boys. I pass ‘em.”



From the Aug 2 DRC Cross Country Relay Race: Aqua Penguins; Flaming Coconut; Just Write Something; Five O’Clock Somewhere; Team ?; Fluffy Sweaters; Fender Bait; Snap, Crackle, and Pop; Relay This!; Ache & Bake; Screaming Lake Lizards

From the Sept 20, Tour des Fleur: The Dumpy Bunch and the Butterflies



Robert Haworth



Best way NOT to train for a half marathon: Michael Montgomery, 7/26: “I come downstairs yesterday morning to find the street outside my hotel closed to auto traffic here in Bogota, Columbia. I run up the street and ask a traffic cop why the street is closed, and after much gesturing made worse by awful Spanish, I get the message that the Bogota Marathon and Half Marathon is starting in about one hour. So after handing my cell phone camera off to a hotel employee to try to get a picture of me running by the hotel (he got everyone but me) I decided, what the heck lets run it! Thanks to Citibank for sponsoring my airfare, hotel and meals so I could run this 13.1 mile traffic-exhaust, no water past Mile 4, 8800 foot elevation, mountain based city beating (which I did not pay for but somehow ended up with a finisher medal minus a chip, number, and shirt). Getting home was half the race. I had no idea it was not a loop, but point to point. After walking for 30 min, I finally hopped on the next bus I saw, and after 15 minutes and seeing nothing recognizable, I realized I was going the wrong way. It took me almost as long to get home as the race itself. And goodness knows I ain’t fast. Pre race meal the night before: three beers, hamburger, and fries. Post race meal: a rotisserie chicken from a street corner vendor. Best chicken I ever ate!”



Tour Dallas bike rally, The Dallas Running Club, and The Dallas White Rock Marathon



Worst: Luke’s Locker. This is NOT the place to go for race information

Best: Dallas Running Club, Dallas White Rock Marathon

PAUL JERDE’s cycling accident and corresponding web site:



3/6/08: “the SMU Outdoor practice is still on for you Polar Bear Swimmers. Jim said he would be there to give anyone who shows up a good distance practice! Yes I know…why are we canceling the indoor practice and having the outdoor practice? Well…all I can say is that we are a unique group!” Dallas Aquatic Masters

3/29: The Butterfly Boogie, 5K plodding back-of-the-packers blocking the winning 10K champions in a money race. Fault: race organizers, not the runners

Under the title of “Read the race application carefully,” the April 12, Camper Scamper withholds prize money to 2nd place, 15:31.6, $200 grad student Eliud Mjubi because of not being a Texas citizen. An NAACP lawyer is called to investigate for possible discrimination issues, running agent declines.

Elite Melisa Christian runner saying on camera she doesn’t have a 10K PR because she’s a marathoner.

The guy coming up from behind Melisa Christian, during a post-race TV interview, dumping bottled water over her head.



Swim: Dallas Aquatic Master’s

Bike: Richardson Bike Mart rides/Mike Keel spin classes

Run: TNT-Tuesday Night Track

Sunday morning’s at White Rock Lake



January 19: 28 degrees with 15 degree wind chill (Too Cold To Hold, Bold in the Cold 15K’s)

March 8: The Athens Triathlon, 30 degrees with 21 degree wind chill

Dec 9: a beautiful 65 degrees and calm in the morning, but by evening it was in the low 30’s sleet and snow mix with the wind chill of 27 degrees.



Glen Carter, former DRC Pres., heart failure, 4/11,

Arshad Ahmed, runner, car accident, 4/11,

Mike Alfaro, triathlete, hit while cycling, 6/7

Meredith Hatch, triathlete, hit while cycling, 6/7

Bronda Starling, triathlete, cancer, 7/8

Anthony Mungioli, hit while cycling, 9/29

Cole Berardi, hit by a police officer while cycling, 10/17

“Sweat cleanses from the inside. It comes from places a shower will never reach.” – George Sheehan


Paul Jerde, 6/14, hit while riding east along Mockingbird Bridge over White Rock Lake

Eric Nelson, Jay Newton, and Mary Oliver Gutierrez hit in a cross walk by an inattentive driver after finishing the DRC Half Marathon , 11/2

John Ricca, 11/23, hit while running with his dog in a cross walk

Shaheen Sattar, 11/20, hit head on by an SUV while running, driver fell asleep at the wheel

“Human beings are made up of flesh and blood, and a miracle fiber called courage” –George Patton

Chris Phelan has written, laid out, photographed, and published The Phast Times News since 2001. He’s crisscrossed Texas on his bike three times, swam 5 miles across Lake Ray Hubbard three times, completed three Ironman triathlons, and has represented the US in completion three times, and run with the Olympic Torch. He maintained All-American status for five years and has also biked across the country, 3600 miles in 30 days. The running/triathlon coach has PR’s of 2:27 marathon, 15:40 5K, 3:55 at the Hotter ‘n Hell Hundred, and 10:00:52 Ironman. Chris is the only person to have won overall and Master’s at Dallas’ Crosson Dannis road racing series, DRC road racing series, and the USAT/SMW duathlon series. In 1988 he began Dallas’ oldest track workout, 1998 started north Texas’ first treadmill class, and 2003 he founded the world-wide Ride Of Silence. He’s been twice nominated Master’s Road Runner of the Year, highlighted in a variety of magazines and is frequently asked to speak at camps and organizations about fitness. Outside of swimming, biking, and running, Chris has summited several mountains including Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro.