Monday, March 31, 2008

A few pics of LT

I seem to have grown fond of the little booger....

LT with Auntie Shawn

If we spiked his hair, he'd look like a little troll doll!

This kid will jabber your ear off

Cutie pie :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Coming over to the dark side...

...of Disney races :) After almost 3.5 years of living an hour and a half from Disney, I have finally registered for my first WDW race:

This message is generated as confirmation of your recent registration on You have been successfully registered for the following:

Registration: 2008 Disney's Women Run the World 15K - presented by Lady Footlocker
Purchase Date: 03/18/08
Group: Individual
Category: 15K Run
Event Date: 05/04/08
Name: Shawn Newton

May Walt have mercy on my soul....

RR: Bay to Bay 12K

The Bay to Bay 12K, on Sunday, March 16, in St. Petersburg, goes down 1st Ave N., from Boca Ciega Bay to Tampa Bay. I wore a green shirt in honor of St. Patrick's Day being on Monday (even though I'm not Irish--see previous post. lol)

Well, I've got another race under my belt. That makes, what--like, a couple hundred ;) Another tanked PR effort, but I pretty much knew right away that a PR wasn't in the cards.

Sunday was warm and humid and overcast. I got up early and headed out the door at 5:30 AM (yes, 5:30 AM. On a Sunday. sigh...) and started the long drive to St. Pete. I really can't wait until I finish school and can move closer to civilization. It takes at *least* 45 minutes to get anywhere from here. I'm sure everyone is pretty much sick of hearing me bitch about that. Anyway, I got to Linae's house at a little after 6:30. Molly and Debbie were there, and I got my packet from Molly, who was kind enough to pick it up for me. Linae was still feeling kind of sick, so she opted out of the race. Debbie was our Official Race Chauffeur, so Molly and I piled into her car and she drove us to the start.

We were really early, so we picked up our chip and went and hung out by the start line. Molly entertained me with some stories, and we chatted with a very enthusiastic young lady from Sebring. We heard a couple of women wearing jackets griping about how cold it was (uhh, lady--it was 70 degrees. Suck it up.) I was feeling pretty ambivalent about this race. I could run. I could walk. I could just go to Denny's. Whatever. I just didn't really feel like running that morning. Molly said she felt the same. But we were already there and dressed, so we figured we may as well just run it. There was brunch and champagne waiting for us back at Linae's. So we started, feeling pretty good as we had been feeling the wonderful breeze off the Intercoastal. After about a minute, the oppressive humidity bore down upon us. We hung on to 5 run/1 walk intervals for a few miles, and then it kind of went to hell. Thank God for Molly, because I would have been walking a LOT more than I was if she hadn't been there to pull me through.

I hope I wasn't too annoying to her. I was quite chatty that morning, telling her some of my race stories, my family stories, my dating (disaster) stories. Basically, I barely shut up the entire 7.46 miles. She didn't hit me with anything, and she didn't tell me to stifle, so I'm assuming she was okay with it.

There seems to be a trend in races with a false finish line. There is a chip mat and a photographer, but the finish is waaaaaay down the road. This is a cruel practice and it must be stopped. We had decided to run all the way to the finish when we turned onto the street leading up to the Pier (the finish line.) It's a deceptively long way to the Pier from the beginning of the road. Like, a half mile. Diabolical bastards. We ran for the benefit of the photographer, but both of our tanks were empty. But with about a quarter of a mile to go, we started trotting. Molly finished a few seconds ahead of me, and we were both glad to have that over and done with.

At the beginning of the day, Molly had hoped to finish in 1:45. I had hoped for 1:30. We compromised and finished in 1:37 and change :)

Debbie picked us up and we headed back to Linae's for our post-race brunch. There was a delicious breakfast casserole with egg beaters, turkey sausage, and hash browns, yummy coconut bread, pineapple (which I don't eat--luau incident in the third grade. But it smelled good,) OJ, and champagne. And I made brownies. From scratch. I'm very proud of that fact. lol After visiting for a bit, I made my way alllllllll the way back to Hudson.

Another notch in my race belt, and I got to hang out with good friends. So it was a good day.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Paddy's Day!!

I'm not Irish, but I may let ya kiss me anyway. Depends on who you are ;)

No, I am not Irish. Not a drop of Irish blood flows through my veins. Yes, I'm sure. I *know* my name is Shawn. I *know* I "look Irish." Okay, I'm pale and freckly, I know. But I'm not Irish, I promise. Except for today. EVERYBODY is Irish on St. Patrick's Day!

Enjoy your corned beef and cabbage and green beer, if you do that kinda thing.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I'm a Boxer!

I'm a Boxer
What Kind of Puppy are You?

A cute quiz I swiped from Darla :)

Thanks, Dr. Pusher!

When I got to Linae's house before the concert on Sunday, she handed me a gift in an adorable wine gift box. It was a triathlon training kit she had put together for me, including all of the stuff in the picture below as well as tri top. The tag on the gift box said, "To Shawn, From The Pusher. You can never leave The Firm! :) " lol

sigh. I guess this means she actually expects me to do this now.

Swim training starts in 21 days.


Ain't it purty??

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gary Allan ROCKS!!

Country singer Gary Allan rocked us out at Busch Gardens yesterday. Of course, Linae and I had a blast--a hot guy with a sexy voice singing to us? Oh, yeah. We are sooooo there!

Here we are: The 1st and 3rd place age group winners (F 30-34) in the Armadillo Run 5K with our celebratory Bud Select!

Gary rises up from beneath the stage. He started his set with "Watching Airplanes," his current #1 song and one of my personal favorites. It gets stuck in your head ;)


One of my deep, dark secrets: I'm a sucker for a bad-ass tat...

I think it's worth noting that he and a couple other members of his band killed half a bottle of whiskey while on stage. And while we were all holding up our beer to salute him, one dude held up a half-eaten turkey leg. Only in Florida. Welcome to the Freak Show State, Mr. Allan. Please come back sometime.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


I just found out that I took THIRD PLACE in my age group at my race this morning! My friend Linae took first! And not first and third out of three--there were 11 women in the 30-34 age group! I can barely wrap my head around the fact that I beat eight women in my age group! The last time I won anything in my age group, I was second of two! lol

And my official chip time was 33:54, for 10:59/minute miles! SUB-11:00 miles!! While sick and hacking every half mile! Unreal!!

It was an awesome day!

Armadillo Run 5K, Oldsmar, FL

Subtitle: The Incidental PR
I drove into Oldsmar this morning and eventually found the race site (no thanks to TomTom, but I digress...) Got my number and shirt, found Linae, and we hung around waiting to start in the 25 mph wind. Found Slow Twin Bill, chatted for a few, then we were off. L & B went ahead, as they are speedy, and I trotted along at a nice, even pace. I took my first of three walk (cough) breaks right before I hit the one-mile mark, where I proceeded to hack up a lung. Or so it felt. Passed one mile in 10:29. Huh? All right...ran through the nice neighborhood facing the bay, saw Linae going back the other way, got to the turnaround, and got smacked with a lovely headwind. Walked and coughed a bit more, trying to dislodge whatever the hell has been living at the back of my throat for the past three days. No such luck. Started running again, and made it to about 2.5 miles before I had to walk again.
I looked at my watch after I started running again, trying to figure out exactly how far I was from the finish line and how much time I had to get there. I'm not great at math when I'm NOT running, so this was a pretty neat trick for me. I saw the 3 mile mark up ahead and realized that if I really booked, I could possibly maybe PR. So I ran 'til my eyes bled the last 0.3 miles, crossing the line in 33:59 by my watch. That's a 27 second PR! I somehow managed to PR after being sick for a week and not running for two. At a race where I was just there to get the tshirt and see some friends. How, I may never know. But I'll take it happily and not question the Race Gods :)
Had pizza and half a beer afterward. At 9 AM. How awesome is that?? I love running :)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Tall Drink of Water

Tuesday night, my mom and I went to the Strawberry Festival (aka Redneck Hootenanny, Part Deux. Part Une was the Florida State Fair) in Plant City. Between the mullets, the cowboy hats, and the extraordinarily obese people walking around with a turkey leg in one hand and a corn dog in the other, the festival yet again satisfied the people-watcher (voyeur?) in me.

I was still suffering from The Plague, but the lure of strawberry shortcake and Blake Shelton was great enough to get my crud-infested, germy self there. In the rain. At least it was warm.

In addition to being hotter'n Texas in July and a great singer, Blake Shelton is hysterically funny. He really played up the Redneck aspect of Central Florida, culminating in a cover of the Bellamy Brothers' "Gimme a Redneck Girl." It was a blast!

My mom got a kick-ass camera for her birthday, so the pictures are WAY better than they were at the George Strait concert. Below are some pictures of the super-fine Mr. Shelton, all 6'5" of him. Yummy:

Cover of Hank Jr.'s "A Country Boy Can Survive"

"Ol' Red"

Yeah, it's country :)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

RR: Mardi Gras Marathon

Friday, 2/22 - Flew into New Orleans Friday afternoon. Kay got in a bit before me, so she waited for me at the airport, and we rode over to the hotel. Headed to the expo, which was about 1/2 mile from our hotel, and wandered around there for a while. We met Mary, Dudley's wife, but Dud wasn't there yet. We wandered around a bit and I spent WAY too much money, including on this cute little guy:

Then we headed off to the French Quarter. We took a carriage ride, which was cool, and very informative.

We wandered around Bourbon Street for a while, then we decided to find something to eat. We were basically dragged into an Italian restaurant called Tony Moran's, which had excellent food, so it was all good. We saw people walking around with these huge drinks called Handgrenades. Kay asked someone what was in it, but all they could tell us was it was melon-y tasting and really strong. I decided that I would have one after the marathon. We wandered around a bit more, then headed back to the hotel.

Saturday, 2/23 - Kay and I hung around the hotel most of the morning. Jan from Mississippi and her daughter Caroline, who were staying in the same hotel, dropped in on us for a few minutes, then they went to their room. Kay and I headed back to the expo to meet up with Dud for our group tour. We finally met Dud, and ran into Mary again, and Geri and Moose, so we chatted with them for a while. Then Dud, Jan, Caroline, Jan's other daughter and her hubby, one of Jan's friends from Joy of Running and her daughter, Kay and I took off for lunch. We went to a place called Mother's; the line was pretty long, but it was worth it. The food was FAB-U-LOUS. I had a debris po'boy. Sooooo delicious! After some bread pudding, we went on our Dudley-led tour of the French Quarter.

We went to Jackson Square,

we saw the Faulkner house, which is now a bookstore,

some awesome architecture,

the Lafitte Blacksmith Shop, which is one of the oldest buildings in New Orleans,

and we visited a voodoo temple. Dudley did a great job; if you ever get a chance to tour New Orleans with him, jump at it! We finished up with beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde. Yummmm. Everybody else took off back to their hotels, but Kay, Dudley, and I walked over to the Mississippi River and walked along it for a while. We walked over to the Riverwalk Mall, bummed around for a bit, then we dropped Dud back at the Hilton, and Kay and I went back to our hotel.

Sunday, 2/24 - Race day! We met Jan and Caroline in the lobby and walked over to the start at the Superdome. We ran into Dud and then lined up to start.

We spotted Moose and Geri, but couldn't get to them easily. I ran with Kay for the first five minutes, then sent her on her way. I planned on quite a few more walk breaks than she would be doing ;) I caught up with Moose and Geri and ran with them for nine or ten miles. They told me about their Mardi Gras parties and their Katrina stories, and about the sights on the course. They're so much fun to hang with. And running with Moose is like running with a rock star! Everybody yelling out his name at water stops and such. He even stopped for a martini on the course. He's quite the crowd favorite! I couldn't keep up with their run pace any longer, so I let them go on just before the halfway point.

I started walking more than I should, but it got me through. I met a Maniac and a 50 Stater once we got into City Park, and hung with them for a while. Both very nice people. I really should become more active on those lists, especially the 50 States list. I stopped to get my picture taken with the local Hashers in red dresses, who offered me my choice of beer or water (I took the water--still had about 7 miles to go.)

I picked up a guy who had run Cowtown in Fort Worth the DAY BEFORE. And he had driven down from South Bend, IN, to do it. He's usually a 3:30 marathoner, so he was having a REAL bad day. He eventually dropped back, and wound up finishing about 10 minutes behind me.

I managed to pass a few people in the last few miles, and I finished in 6:28:47. It was a nice course. The weather was cool and overcast for the first hour and a half or so, then it warmed up and the sun came out, and the back half of the course wasn't too shady. I got a hellacious sunburn because I forgot my Holy Grail sunblock at home and just had some inferior stuff. Won't make THAT mistake again! I'm also thinking of trying a visor to shield at least the top part of my face from the sun.

(No, I'm not drunk. Just loopy from 26.2 miles...)

Shirt and medal. BLING!!

Sunday night - After a shower and a nap, Kay and I headed back to Bourbon Street. We found a steak house, and I found a Handgrenade. For recovery purposes only, of course ;) Quite tasty, but very strong.

We wandered up and down the French Quarter (working out the lactic acid,) and I got my palm and tarot cards read. Interesting....Then it was back to the hotel to crash, and we flew back home on Monday morning.

Monday was my mom's birthday, so since it was just us, I got a small cake. Tuesday it was back to school, Wednesday back to work, and Thursday I got The Plague :-P I currently have a sore throat and practically NO voice. But otherwise, I feel fine.