Why Top 45?

These are the things that float to the top of my list of activities that I want to do for the year 2012 when I am 45 years old. The list is comprised of things that I have either never tried or have wanted to try and just didn't have the courage or time to do it. Follow along and watch my progress and feel free to comment or add words of encouragement to help keep me going for the next 365 days!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

45 Recap

As I write this post, it has been a little over a year since I started my journey to complete 45 activities to commemorate my 45th birthday.  I gave myself 12 months to complete them all and I can report today, that I have checked off 44 of the 45.  A few of the items I have only partially completed and I endeavor to finish those things very soon.  When I was brainstorming the list, one of the requirements for being added to the list was that it wouldn't be life-threatening so skydiving would not be added to the list even after many people suggested it because it is on their own individual bucket list.  The one thing I did not do last year was take a photography class and I have decided to make an executive decision to put skydiving on the list...the twist is that it will be at the indoor skydiving center being built near my home.

One thing I have learned about myself over this past year is that as I come to the end of a task, in my brain I feel like it is complete and then I am ready to move on.  I am ready to move on to new goals for this year and be able to check this activity off.  In my brain I was done, somewhat bored by the idea of actually finishing and I have come back to finish the recap and be able to say, "This is complete."

Here is a brief recap of the last items on the list that I did not blog about:

Chicken S*&t Bingo:

My friend, Amy, had suggested we go to Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon to witness a very old Austin event.  I can't remember exactly why it came up and vaguely remember it was a combination of me owning chickens and The Help.  After about 2 years of planning, some really hot Austin temperatures keeping us from going anytime during the summer months, we finally made it!  We drank beer in the parking lot, ate chili dogs for free and bet on a chicken to poop on a number in a coop set up next to the very crowded bar.  The entire affair lasted about an hour from start to finish and unfortunately, we didn't win.  I did get some nice one-on-one time with Amy, so that was a score!

Self Portrait in the parking lot with beer.

Miss Ginny!
And the fun begins!

The Hobbit Feast:

I LOVE Alamo Drafthouse!  Anytime I can get to one of their menu and movie events I do.  Some of the memorable events along with food that I have been to are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chocolate feast, Mother's Day Champagne Brunch with Breakfast at Tiffany's, and now The Hobbit Feast.  I have often thought about going to The Lord of the Rings feast, but sitting at the movie theater for 12+ hours is just too overwhelming for me.  Nicole, Andy and I went and thoroughly enjoyed the movie and the food.  It is so fun going with Nicole and I really like the fact that she is adventurous with food.  I know there are others out there like her, I just don't know many who would be exclaiming, "YUM!" to some of the food that came out.

Hobbit Menu

B Scene at the Blanton:

Alison and I adventured downtown to the monthly member happy hour with a Gatsby theme.  We ran into some friends of mine, Curt and Annette, drank too many dirty martinis and learned to do the Charleston...well sort of learned to do the Charleston.  The martinis made me a bit dizzy so I ended up in search of water and food to calm my stomach.  Alison knew I had to take a break after I exclaimed, "I stepped on my own left foot!"

Curt & Annette

Carnival Magic - Western Caribbean Cruise:

I was able to wrap several events into this cruise.  Yes, some of them were substitutes for original list items and in my opinion they are legitimate because several of them were first-time activities for me.  Nicole and I had a wonderful trip, survived being disconnected from the internet for 7 days and were really able to relax.  Nicole was a bit fearful of the stingray city and ended up loving it and even kissing a stingray! (supposed to bring 14 years of good luck).  It was fabulous riding horses into the hills and then swimming in the ocean on the horses' backs.  Finally, swimming and interacting with dolphins was a dream I have had for years, probably since I was around Nicole's age swimming with the Dayton Dolphins swim team when I was younger.  It took me a few days to get my land legs back after the return.  I was glad to be home and get back to work and in a routine.

Carnival Entry
My Carnival Birthday Card
Our Wait Staff:  Pepito, Romeo and Randy.

My Birthday Portrait

FirePit Ceramics - Pottery Throwing

Chris, my neighbor and friend, came with me to the ceramics class just before the holidays.  We spent an hour and half playing with clay, creating pottery on wheels with several other people.  I can see how this activity could become an addiction.  It is not simple, but extremely fun to watch the change in the clay as you try to create items with your hands.  We still have to return to glaze our pieces and will do so very soon...picture to come, maybe ; ).

Austin Symphony - Brahms

I recently went to the symphony with my friend, Greg, and his neighbors, Barbara and Ed Clark.  The musical selections were from Brahms and Britten.  The music brought me back to my college days when I would go the the UGL library to study.  I would go to the music area where you could pick out a vinyl album, get some earphones and plug in to the music from a cubby to listen.  I would choose some classic album and recall it was often Beethoven or Brahms because their music was perfect for listening to while studying.  The routine was always the same, choose music, plug in earphones, fall asleep for several minutes in the beginning (often deep enough to wake up with drool on the desk) and then being able to listen and study for several hours.  My biggest fear seeing the Austin Symphony live would be falling asleep and drooling in front of Greg's neighbors and luckily I can report that that did not happen.  I really enjoyed the music and while I didn't love the Britten piece, I can report that is certainly was lively and felt like living through a rain storm.  Last night confirms that I am still a fan of Brahms composing.

Indoor Skydiving - TBD

As I mentioned above, jumping out of plane won't happen but the indoor version looks extremely safe and really fun.  As soon as they open, I will see who wants to go along and I can make the final check mark on my list and be on to new goals and endeavors.

Thanks to so many friends and family members who helped me meet all my goals this past year by participating, supporting and encouraging me to go for it.  I know for sure I could not have even dreamed up this past year without knowing I would have so many people accompany and support me over the last 12 months.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Lenoir Restaurant - By Catch Dinner

Instead of attending La Dolce Vita, that is an event that takes place at Laguna Gloria Art museum, Greg and I altered the list a bit to participate in one of the monthly dinner series meals featured at Lenoir Restaurant in south Austin.  I decided that I didn't feel like standing in multiple lines for food and wine with thousands of other people.  I have become quite spoiled and prefer smaller venues and more personal service for all kinds of events ranging from food and wine to music.

Lenoir is owned and operated by husband and wife, Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher, who source as much as their supplies from Texas producers as possible.  The restaurant is housed is a very quaint and whimsically decorated house-cum-restaurant just south of downtown.  When we first arrived we were directed to the adorable backyard where ambient lights were strewn in the trees and the Biscuit Grabbers entertained us with their unique jazzy music.


While listening to the tunes, we were offered a choice of beverages; bubbly, riesling or pilsner and tasty hors d'oeuvres; hake brandade, marinated blackfin tuna and fried menhaden.  We both started with a glass of the pinot nero-fanconia scarpetta and ended up with a glass of the riesling.  Of the hors d'oeuvres, one of our favorites was the fried menhaden that we renamed fish-bacon due to is presentation and the fact that it tasted like bacon with a hint of fish flavor as a nice after taste.  Greg and I had to resist eating the tray of appetizers placed at the end of our table because we wanted to leave room for the meal to come...we should have stopped at one a piece of the appetizers instead of the 3+ of each that we ate, just couldn't resist the fish-bacon.

Hake Brandade and Blackfin Tuna

Fish Bacon!

After a short time in the backyard, we migrated inside for the four courses to come.  Upon entry to the restaurant, we were greeted by the scene below.  I LOVE the multiple chandeliers.  The restaurant only has a few tables and seats probably about 30 or so people.  Most of the walls are decorated by thin strips of wood that have been painted black except for a wall painted a beautiful jewel tone of blue near the restrooms.  It was so cozy and inviting that I am looking forward to another visit very soon.
Lovely Interior Decor

Menu - a.k.a. Fish Feast

The first course did not disappoint!  I LOVED the two salads and in particular the salad with thai basil as the main greens paired with toasted rice, wild boar and egg crepe.  The textures and flavors were amazing and I ate way more of this salad then I should have...I was failing miserably on pacing myself for the remainder of food to come.  The cauliflower salad was lovely, too, with lots of additional flavors and textures.

Amazing Thai Basil Salad
Awesome multi-colored cauliflower salad
One of the really cool aspects of this meal is the intro to each course by the chef along with guest lectures by the fish monger, the sommelier and the local Austin sake maker.  If only they would have told me to pace myself better...no thanks to Greg either. ; )

The second course was an amazing rainbow runner green curry.  It had just enough spice to have some interest and not too much that you couldn't recognize and taste the other ingredients and spices in the soup.  I am not a big fan of okra, but it grows well in Texas and this wasn't too slimy, but I really enjoyed the additional flavors of the Thai eggplant and Jerusalem artichokes.
FlavorFULL green curry soup
The third course, or last savory course, was an entire grilled porgy and yummy roasted sweet potatoes.  The sight of the whole grilled fish made quite a presentation and while everything was served family style, Greg and I were the only ones at our table so we had a lot of fun taking pictures and dissecting the dishes.  We were quite full by this course so we were able to bring some of the food home.  I really liked the way the potatoes were roasted with some meyer lemon garnish because it had a bit of a lemony glaze on them.  Oh, and the green beans were divine with a lovely mix of seasonings to complement the fact that they were perfectly prepared, not too over cooked.  We loved most of the drink pairings although we were not a big fan of the sake.  As I am not a sake connoisseur, I really do not feel qualified to comment too much on it though.
Grilled Porgy





Finally, our fourth, dessert course, was a smorgasbord of sesame & almond cake, meyer lemon curd, grilled persimmon and frozen coconut rice.  Of this grouping, my favorite flavors were the lemon curd and coconut ice cream probably because I was so full from everything else, I couldn't really put too much into my stomach for fear of bursting.  As a matter of fact, I was so full that I forgot to snap a picture of the dessert.

The meal was a huge success in my book and as I suspected, I really enjoyed the intimate nature of the meal over the bustly chaos that sometimes prevails at something like La Dolce Vita or a different wine and food fest.

I have signed up for email updates from Lenoir because I hope to return very soon for another one of their special meals.

Next few posts:
Blanton B Scene
FirePit Ceramics
Chicken S*&t Bingo

Monday, November 19, 2012

Final List Update

Here is the final list.  I need to set the date for item #16 and I think it will be December 2nd, if you want to come along, let me know!  For the Art Class I have decided it would be a first to try to make some pottery so I am going to do that.  I still need to post about the dinner at Lenoir the restaurant that was amazing and will do so very soon.  Actually, if you see anything on the list that is remaining that you might want to tag along with me, shoot me an email.
 Hard to believe the year is almost up and it will be the end of this list.  Someone asked me if I was going to have a list of 46 next year and I emphatically said, "NO!"  Now that I have had some time to ponder, I may have a hobby that I attempt to do for 46 weeks, and that is the extent of next years list.
  1. Get physical exercise 5-6 times a week for 45 weeks - Ongoing
  2.  Austin 5k - Run for the Water
  3.  Danskin Triathlon - June
  4.  Highland Lakes Challenge - October
  5. 135/8 - Ongoing
  6.  Masters swimming meet/ 3x3 Challenge - TBD
  7.  Diva Dash - April
  8.  Change Hair - January
  9.  Passport Vacation - Caribbean Cruise
  10.  Trip to San Diego with Kim & Stacy and others – July/August
  11.   Paragliding - August
  12.    Surfing  - August
  13.    Swimming with Sting Rays - Grand Cayman
  14.    Horseback riding on the beach - Jamaica
  15.    Swim with dolphins - Cozumel
  16.   Chicken S*&t Bingo - December
  17.    Zip lining - March
  18.    Make bed each weekday morning - Ongoing
  19.    Plant garden/produce veggies and herbs - Spring
  20.   Get an egg from hens - Spring
  21.   Empty kitchen sink each weekday night - Ongoing
  22.   Redecorate Nicole’s room for 10th birthday - June
  23.   Blanton B Scene Art Party - November 30
  24.   AMOA Opening - Janauary
  25.   Lenoir Special Seafood Dinner – November
  26.    Opera – Lucia di Lammermoor – February
  27.    Broadway Across America – Wicked – February
  28.   Ballet – Fall
  29.   Paramount Theater – Summer
  30.   UT Football home game -Opening game vs. Wyoming
  31.    Symphony - December
  32.   Texas Advocacy Project – Handbags for Hope became KW Red Day
  33.    SXSW – Focus Movie – March
  34.   The Hobbit Feast - December
  35.     One handwritten note a month to Nicole for book – Ongoing
  36.   One handwritten note a month to a Friend or Family member - Ongoing
  37.   Photography Class - December
  38.   Ceramic Art Class - December
  39.    Top 45 at 45 Blog – Ongoing
  40.   Courage to Change Blog – Ongoing
  41.    The Artist’s Way morning pages and art dates – Ongoing
  42.   iPhone Apple class – January
  43.    Practice French – Ongoing
  44.   Whole Foods or Central Market Cooking class became Le Cordon Bleu Class - TBD
  45.   Organize Family Birthday Calendar - December

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Daylight Savings

     In about an hour and a half, the clocks on the computers, phones, ipad and TVs will automatically reset and fall back 1 hour.  I have already set the clocks, microwave and oven clocks back so when I wake up in the morning, I won't be alarmed by the difference in times.  Computers however, are not full proof in knowing the correct dates to change times as was evidenced last weekend when Nicole and I took part in the Run for the Water race.  As we headed downtown, some of the electronic signs had already adjusted to an earlier time announcing 5:30am instead of the actual 6:30am that we were at while driving on Barton Springs looking for parking to get to the starting line in time for my 7:15 5k kick off.

     I am fairly certain that the organizers of the race thought that the clock would change that weekend too, when they decided to start the 10miler so darn early in the morning.  Another explanation is that runners and organizers of runners here in Austin are just plumb crazy for setting a start time so early on a Sunday morning.

I know that Nicole was not too happy about getting up so early on a Sunday.  I had to use the parental line of, "We are lucky to have the things we have, including clean water to drink each day, because some people have to wake up this early to walk to get clean water," to help Nicole adjust her attitude about the wake up call (things you never thought you would say to your kids type of line).
      The race was a good bit larger than I had expected and Keller Williams Realty is a big sponsor for the race.  After meeting Gilbert Tuhabonye at one of KW Team Meetings, I decided to add this event to my list, substituting it for the Capitol Triathlon that I didn't do in September due to lack of training time.  The formation of the Gazelle Foundation was inspired by the story of Gilbert who was a survivor of the Hutu/Tutsi civil unrest in Burundi.  He wrote a book, This Voice in My Heart, that I intend on reading soon, and is an autobiographical account of his upbringing and tale of survival.

Right after signing up for the race, I posted on Facebook that I had signed up and invited some friends to join me.  Allison and Maria eventually signed up to run with me and it was nice to have the support.  Allison is currently training to run a marathon and has been logging quite a few miles each week in preparation and Maria is more like me, not quite as much running.  When I asked Allison how fast she could run a mile, she pointed to her iPhone that was securely attached to her arm and said that it depended on the music that was playing.  I knew that I wasn't going to be able to keep up with her when she said the first song to play would be Let's Get it Started AND that I had forgotten to even bring music to run to during the 5k.  Maria remembered her music but was nice enough to hang with me throughout the race.  Having her to talk to helped in two ways 1) I ran a bit faster than I have recently and 2) I actually ran the entire 5k nonstop.
     I finished the run in about 37 minutes, not my best time in a 5k and also not my worst.  From the results, I was 24th in my age group.
     Nicole and Hadley were signed up to run the Kid K that started right around 9am.  It was fun to see them lined up at the starting line and I was proud of both girls for participating for the cause of clean water. 

     I definitely want to send out a special thanks to Allison and Maria for running with me, and to their husbands, Dan and Matt, who came out to the race to watch Nicole and Hadley while we ran our race.  We celebrated with breakfast at NXNW and then Nic and I came home and I didn't do much the rest of the day as I was still recovering from the 5k swim and then the 5k run complete within days of one another.

New list update to come this week.
Time for bed..even though we set the clock back one hour, I don't need to push my luck.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Highland Lakes Challenge

On Thursday morning, I swam in the 6th Annual, Tex Roberston, Highland Lakes Challenge.  The annual event is organized by former Olympian, Sandy Neilson-Bell, and her husband, Dr. Keith Bell.  Sandy was a triple gold medalist at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany in the 100 meter freestyle.  She won three golds, one in the individual 100 free, one in the 4 x 100 free relay and one in the 4 x 100 meter medley relay.  My masters swim coach, Carolyn, is a swimmer on Sandy's master team, the Team Texas Masters and is basically responsible for getting me to put this event on my list for this year.  She will pay for this inspired me and made me believe that I could accomplish this, so lots of credit to her for believing in my abilities to complete this even if I doubted it from time to time.

The Challenge consists of 5 stages of swimming in Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls and Lake Travis.  Swimmers can swim in all five stages or just one stage, swimming distances ranging in length of 1 mile up to 4 miles depending on the course and the day.  I chose to swim in the Inks Lake stage because it was the best day to fit into my schedule and as it turns out, it was the right choice because the weather turned cold overnight between Thursday and Friday. Originally, I was going to do a 1 mile swim, however there were only 4 other swimmers other than myself and they were all going to do the great distance.  Since I didn't want to create any problems for the organizers (or disappoint Carolyn ; ) ), I opted to increase my distance from 1 mile to 3 miles.

This particular leg of the event began on the docks of Camp Longhorn, a summer camp that was started by Tex and Pat Robertson in 1939.  Coincidentally, I had been to Camp Longhorn years before when I was a nanny for a family whose children attended camp over the summers there.  It has grown significantly over the years and I got lost looking for the docks because it was so different from when I had been there before.

Camp Longhorn Lazy River
Overcast Pre-race sky
My Pre-race companion, Hank

It is fitting that the challenge is named after Tex Robertson as he is a former Olympian in Water Polo and former swimming coach for the University of Texas who is best known for inventing the flip turn and coaching Adolph Kiefer who was a world champion backstroker.  Flip turns are only permitted during the freestyle and backstroke races while, in butterfly and breaststroke, regulations require swimmers to touch the end of the pool with both hands before turning back for another length. 
Tex's Olympic bag
Tex Pool Dedication 
Tex Robertson's Medal Room

After meeting on the docks, we all climbed on a boat and Sandy drove us around a bend to begin the swim near a damn.  The water was fairly cold upon entry but since I typically get pretty hot during practice at the Y, I knew the temperature was not going to be an issue once I started the 3 mile trek.  We 'warmed' up a little before Sandy counted us down and we took off.  I was a little concerned early on because my left arm and shoulder were uncomfortable pretty quickly so I started alternating between freestyle and breaststroke to give other muscles a chance to kick in.  There was no choppiness for most of the swim and I am very grateful for that because the last time I did an open water swim, the small waves were hitting me to one side and I ended up getting really dizzy and nauseous that lasted most of the rest of the day after the swim.  The only regret I can think of was that I wish I had goggles that were shaded like sunglasses because the glare from the sun made it difficult to site the course.  Doing breaststroke did double duty, helping my muscles and helping me to site the course better.  I held my place in the middle of the pack for the entire 3 miles occasionally spotting Keith and Patty pretty far ahead and Bill and Paul a slight distance behind.  At one point, Sandy and Carolyn pulled up nearby in a boat to let me know I was pulling to the left and redirected me closer to shore.  As I got closer to the finish, the recognizable Camp Longhorn buildings helped to calm me down a bit as I knew that once I could spot them, I was coming to the end of the challenge.  The last 500-800 yards were pretty tough because the choppiness of the lake picked up considerably and luckily it was coming head-on instead of at an angle or to either side of my head.  When I saw the final buoy, I had enough energy to kick to the end to reach the dock and pull slightly ahead of Bill, as Carolyn told me after I finished. 

Carolyn said she felt like a proud momma for me and was impressed with my time.  I really didn't have any idea how I had done other than the time of 1 hour and 41 minutes because I had nothing to compare it to having never done a distance like this.  I was in the company of people who do this type of thing on a regular basis, Patty having just swam a 10 miler in Tennessee a couple of weekends ago for instance.  I am proud of the time and the fact that I pushed myself to do the entire 3 miles instead of the 1 mile but I am still recovering, several days later, and will play it by ear on whether or not I will do this event again. 

One final note, I was pretty surprised at how dirty my suit got, acting like a filter for the dirt floating around the top of the lake and was sure to take some Emergen-C to help prevent getting sick from the dirt and slime that I filtered through my nose while I raced.

Dirt filtered through my suit
 Tomorrow, I am running in the Run for the Water event downtown and will report on that early next week as well as do a recap of what is left on the list and how I hope to accomplish the rest before December 31!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Shrew

A few weeks ago, I went with my friend, Margaret, to see the Taming of the Shrew ballet that was put on by Ballet Austin at the Long Center.  It was awesome!

Before the ballet, we decided to have dinner downtown at Bess Bistro on Pecan.  For those of you who don't know, Sandra Bullock is one of the owners of Bess Bistro in addition to Walton's Fancy and Staple that is across the street from Bess on the portion of 6th Street west of Congress.  Pecan Street is another name for 6th street because, like many of the streets in Austin, any street that is any street in Austin, has more than one name.  Just check out this list put together by one of the title companies I do business with below.


There were no Sandra Bullock sightings, however I have seen her there before.  Margaret and I enjoyed a really lovely, relaxing dinner finally finding some time to catch up on each others happenings.  We both had a fish dish and I ate everything on my plate because a) I was hungry and b) I couldn't take any of it home because we were heading to the ballet and there was no way I was leaving any of the yumminess on the plate!  For dessert, we had their dessert du jour that had a Nutella-like flavor and was so light and the perfect thing to have after dinner with some decaf coffee.

Both of us were a little apprehensive about the idea of Taming of the Shrew, that is seemingly Shakespeare-dialogue dependent, turned into a ballet and we were both in for a surprise.  The troupe was amazing!  They did such a wonderful job translating their emotions into movement that you could tell who was playing which character from the start and their was no confusion which ballerina was the shrew.  There were two lines spoken near the beginning of the ballet that honestly weren't needed, but it was fun to hear some spoken word at a ballet.

I really enjoyed the simplicity of the sets too, that through minor changes represented very well the various scenes in the ballet.  Many of the extras spent time easily moving props on and off the stage and a few pieces of the furniture were made of a translucent material that I really liked.  For some reason, the translucent furniture had a big impact on me because I think it served a really good purpose and yet it did not distract from the ballet.

Ballet Austin - Taming of the Shrew

I am winding down the year and will be doing on last list update this week.  I need to motivate in these last 12 weeks of the year to finish up the last of the Top 45!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Swimmin' in the Rain

On the list, I had picked to do the Austin Tri Rocks triathlon and had to make a switch due to lack of training time.  Without proper training, I am pretty concerned about injury.  I substituted the "World Championship of Texas 3 on 3 Swimming Tournament" that took place this past Sunday.   The tournament consists of a series of games where a team of three competes with another team of three in various races and a team is eliminated after two lost games.  The pairs of competitors swim along other pairs of competitors in order to add a little bit of excitement and to prevent the tournament from lasting all day and night.  The games were in the following order: Free relay, 50 fly, 50 back, 75 IM (no freestyle), 50 free, 50 breaststroke then IM relay (again, no freestyle).  I was somewhat concerned the event would be canceled (and half hoping it would be, too) due to rain.  For those of you who have been in Austin for longer than a month, you know we definitely welcome the rain.  For those of you who know me, I get EXTREMELY anxious before any competitive event and I was semi-hoping it would start thundering...we only got rain, lots of rain, but nothing that would cancel the event.  At least it was swimming in the rain and not running or riding a bike in the rain.

Pre-Race (Carolyn MIA because she helped organize the event)

My master's coach from the YMCA, Carolyn, organized two teams.  The team I was on included our coach Carolyn, Courtney and myself and was named The Naughty Narwhals (our team at the Y is called the Narwhals) and the second team had Brian, Mitch and Christy called Sparkle Motion.  Apparently, Sparkle Motion is from the movie Donnie Darko and when I searched the name on google, it came up in the Urban Dictionary defined as, "Phrase that can be used to describe something awesome," and "Originally from the movie Donnie Darko, where Sparkle Motion was the name of a dance group composed of little girls."  I would say the first definition is more appropriate because Sparkle Motion at the tournament kicked some booty!

Courtney, Carolyn & Me

Brian, Christy & Mitch

In our first 'game', Carolyn warned us that we were swimming against some pretty tough competition and we may end up 'bagging' the races to conserve our energy.  Sure enough, one of the team members of our first opposing teams was apparently named one of the 10 fittest people in Austin.  Yes, you read that correctly.  In a city that has Lance Armstrong as one of the other top 10 people on that list, one of our first competitors is in his league.  Needless to say, we didn't win any of those games in that heat.  I came pretty close to winning the 50 free because I said to my competitor that it wasn't fair that they win all of them, but I still didn't win that race.

***UPDATE: I looked up our competition and sure enough, Kristen Turner was mentioned as half of one of the fittest couples in Austin in the Austin Fit Magazine's February 2011 issue.
We didn't have a chance....

Our second 'game' was not until the fourth heat which gave us a little bit of rest time.  We swam against a set of tween girls and when I looked at them I decided it was probably a better bet that we could with this game.  I swam the same events as the first time and we actually won.  About half way through the game, I realized this meant we were going to have to swim again and we had no idea if we would get a break because of the nature of the tournament.  I was a little bit worried that I had pushed a little too hard against our opponents AND it had really started to rain pretty hard.  I know that we were wet already from the water, but it was pretty chilly and there was a breeze.  We found it was better to stay in the water as long as we could before each race to keep our muscles warm.

Pre-Race and no rain.

Rain during tournament.

We won our second match up but then we had to turn around immediately and start our third.  We just couldn't pull out another win.  The three of us were warn out, tired and cold.

The tournament was a blast and I plan to do it again next year.  I am also hoping to recruit Nicole and some of her teammates for a group of younger Narwhals.  Other than the sore that I developed on teh bottom of my left big tow from having to start so many times on some rough starting blocks, I did get to bring home a prize from our 'win' set of games.

3 on 3 Booty

 We didn't win much, but we sure had a blast trying!