ADC: ARC Decker Challenge 20K by Hoover’s

Benjamin and I finished the the fourth race of the Austin Distance Challenge (ADC) today. In truth, we were both idiots for running it given how we felt just a few days earlier.

Wednesday evening Benjamin’s stomach was being odd. Things must have gotten worse overnight ’cause he called me just as I was leaving the gym on Tuesday morning (I leave the house around 5:30am so he was still asleep when I left) asking me to work from home as he was feeling really bad. He was throwing up and having diarrhea attacks every five minutes or so with major periodic stomach cramps thrown in for good measure. We ruled out food poisoning since he and I had the exact same thing for dinner Wednesday night and I felt fine. At 1:30pm when we couldn’t get him to keep anything down I called and got him an appointment with our PCP, Dr. Steve Loeschen, for 2:20. The doctor took one look at him, asked a few questions, and said ‘we need to get some fluids into you or I’m sending you to the ER’. Yikes. Dr. Loeschen tried to start a saline IV but was unable to do so (said he only starts an IV once every two years or so) and said that he could either give B an anti-nausea med and B would have to rehydrate orally or he could send us to the ER. B opted for the anti-nausea meds and we went home to gradually bring him back to normal. By Friday evening he was feeling well enough to eat a full meal although he still looked pale. Saturday morning he felt back to normal, enough that he went to work in the morning and went shopping with Nicole that evening. As a side note, Dr. Loeschen is awesome and I would recommend him to anyone. While in his office he gave us his after-hours pager in case things got worse. He called Thursday evening and again Friday afternoon to check on Benjamin and see how he was doing.

I, on the other hand, came down with something Thursday evening. No clue what it is/was (still note quite over it). It may be allergies, which would be reasonable given the massive cold front that blew in on Thursday, or it could have been a bug of some kind. Regardless, it was a nose/respiratory issue which comes free with a hacking cough, runny nose, sore throat, and feeling like blah. I felt ‘ok’ but not actually well Saturday night and this morning but I wasn’t going to let a little thing like a respiratory problem stop me from missing a race and thereby forfeiting the distance challenge! (Insert: you’re an idiot here.)

The weather today was cold (in the mid to upper 30s) and windy. Between the cold wind, airborne allergens, and my compromised respiratory system it was a very hard and painful race. We had to stop and walk at least every other mile for many yards – sometimes at every mile. Once I got into the flow around mile 4 things seemed to improve a bit but I felt like I was only able to make use of 50% of my lung capacity. To make it all worse, the last 0.25 mile, when I could see the finish line, I got a major, almost incapacitating, stitch in my side that B encouraged me through (poor B, I don’t think he’s ever heard me cuss like that in quite some time!) B on the other hand, felt pretty good. He had some knee and hamstring pain in the last mile of the race but otherwise felt pretty good. He was a phenomenal encourager to me through the entire race and I couldn’t have made it to the finish line without him.

In short, we really shouldn’t have raced but we did at my insistence. We’re both really glad to have completed it (and with a time that isn’t too shabby either!) but if we had to do it over again knowing how I would feel — I’d say screw it.

On the positive side of things, B and I individually confirmed how we need to dress for this kind of weather – something we didn’t do right last year in the marathon. The race itself was much better coordinated than it was last year. Parking went smoother, the race started on time (neither early or late), the route was improved (no out-and-back), they didn’t run out of sports drink afterwords, and leaving the venue was simple due to how the course was set up (no need for cars to dart through runners to leave the parking lot). Minus the health issues and the wind (neither of which are really controllable) the race was great.

Race: ARC Decker Challenge 20K by Hoover’s
Casey


Overall position 803 out of 1238
Class position (M 25-29) 51 out of 67
Chip time 1:58:50.3
Pace 9:41/M

 
Benjamin


Overall position 802 out of 1238
Class position (M 20-24) 19 out of 21
Chip time 1:58:50.1
Pace 9:41/M

Paces for each mile according to the Garmin:

Mile Pace
1 8:32/M
2 9:14/M
3 9:29/M
4 9:37/M
5 10:32/M
6 10:11/M
7 9:51/M
8 8:42/M
9 10:10/M
10 9:29/M
11 9:25/M
12 9:30/M
12.4 9:15/M

Next race: ARA 20 Miler – January 7th

Golden handcuffs

My manager just called me about an hour ago and said he was happy to inform me that I am the recipient of an IBM Equity Award. Apparently these types of awards are management-initiated and require the backing of your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd line managers. After a bit of research I discovered that I have received these twice before and didn’t know it! Equity Award is the fancy label IBM gives to stock-related awards which I received in 2003/06 and 2003/12. (Yes, yes, I know that stocks are equities, lay off.) The previous two Equity Awards were stock options. The new award is a set of Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) who’s label told me absolutely nothing until I read up on it.

Apparently RSUs are a way for IBM to give someone actual stock, instead of stock options. They are similar to options however in that they take time to vest. Whereas IBM options vest 25% over 4 years, RSUs vest 50% every 2 years over 4 years. When they vest you are basically ‘given’ that many shares of stock minus taxes and whatnot. IBM very clearly states that Equity Awards are a mechanism to ‘retain truly exceptional people with the critical skills … to win in the marketplace today and in the future’ [courtesy of the IBM internal website], hence the phrase ‘golden handcuffs’. Looks like IBM wants to keep me around for a while. I’m not altogether certain that stock options (or RSUs) would be enough to retain me if I really wanted to leave (’cause its only money and I’d leave it in a heartbeat if I didn’t like what I was doing for work) but I agree that they are an excellent fringe benefit for staying!

A 4-year vesting time oddly coincides with our current 5-year plan which is nice (more on that in a later post).

In actuality I’d rather IBM pony up to the table when it comes time for annual performance reviews and salary adjustments. We shall see.

ADC: Motive Bison Stampede Half Marathon

Benjamin and I finished the the third race of the Austin Distance Challenge (ADC) last Sunday (Nov 12). The weather was nice although we over-dressed for it (at least I did). The weather was cold in the morning when the race started but warmed up after the sun rose. Luckily, there was no wind.

B and I felt pretty good at the end. B’s knees were hurting him a bit which mirrors the longer runs last year too. We’re going to have to figure out how to fix them, and soon.

Race: Motive Bison Stampede Half Marathon
Casey


Overall position 1036 out of 1778
Class position (M 25-29) 64 out of 99
Chip time 2:05:33
Pace 9:35/M

 
Benjamin


Overall position 1035 out of 1778
Class position (M 20-24) 27 out of 38
Chip time 2:05:33
Pace 9:35/M

Paces for each mile according to the Garmin:

Mile Pace
1 8:54/M
2 8:40/M
3 9:27/M
4 9:19/M
5 8:00/M
6 11:22/M
7 10:12/M
8 9:18/M
9 8:58/M
10 10:20/M
11 8:44/M
12 9:39/M
13 10:04/M
13.3 11:59/M

Next race: ARC Decker Challenge 20K by Hoover’s – December 3rd

Wearing the Pants

All this week Benjamin has been in training for his new Financial Sales Representative (FSR) position with Compass Bank. There are 4 people total in his class: The Instructor, The Girl, The Guy (who is family), and Benjamin — all of which have husbands/partners. During a break The Girl asks The Guy which of he and his partner is ‘the man’ in the relationship. The Guy responds ‘I am’ to which The Girl laughes and says ‘you’re kidding!’. [Ouch!]

The Girl turns to Benjamin and says something along the lines of ‘how about you, who wears the pants in your relationship?’. Benjamin replies, ‘let me break it down for you: my husband is the man, I wear the pants, he makes the money, and I spend it’ and winks. [Too true — I love it!]

Even better, after telling Eve (Benjamin’s sister) at dinner tonight, Eve says ‘hmmm, just like Mom and Dad’. [!?]

Who wears the pants in your relationship?

My pants behind me

I had just left the gym this morning and was headed to the office. I was listening to 103.5 Bob FM when I heard the following lyrics:

Standing in the middle of the road with my pants behind me…

My interpreting mind must have been in gear because I had already mostly figured out how I would interpret that before realizing I had the lyrics completely wrong, the real lyrics were:

Standing in the middle of the road with my past behind me…

I laughed out loud at myself — so totally like me to not discover I had the lyrics wrong until I was trying to interpret it. An interesting aside, a strict transliteration of “my past behind me” in ASL would be completely redundant as the body range for events happening in the past is behind the plane of the body (the present happens within the plane of the body and the future happens in front of the plane of the body) so signing the concept ‘past’ requires signing ‘behind me’. I decided I would probably interpret it as ‘past finished’. Still unsure how I would interpret ‘standing in the middle of the road’ because conceptually the lyrics were about living in the present and looking to the future not a literal road with a person standing in the middle of it but I don’t think I could have gotten rid of the ‘road’ as it was used elsewhere in the song. Oh well, I’m really not worried about it as I doubt I’ll ever have to interpret the song, whatever it was. (Of course with Gateway you never know…)

ADC: Girl Scouts-Lone Star Council’s Scenic 10 Miler

Benjamin and I finished the the second race of the Austin Distance Challenge (ADC) today. This one was the Girl Scouts-Lone Star Council’s Scenic 10 Miler which replaced the Pervasive 10 Miler from last year. The weather was cold which wouldn’t have been so bad except there was a 15 to 20mph head wind at the start of the race. The wind died down a bit when the sun came up but when we finished running the temprature was still only 51 degrees.

Don’t let the name fool you, the “Scenic” 10 Miler was 100% not scenic although we can both attest to the 10 Miler part. The course this year was on the new Toll 1 and Toll 45 roads. Yes, on the not-yet-opened roads themselves. The start of the race was between where Toll 1 crosses Wells Branch Parkway and where it crosses Shoreline Drive. The race went up Toll 1, on the flyover to Toll 45, across IH-35 and to near the Sears Telecenter, then we turned around and ran back the same way. Yes, it was an out-and-back which B and I both despise. Everything was fine until we got to mile 3 when the lead runners started heading back. Even that wasn’t too bad ’cause B and I both know that we’re not professional runners but it all went downhill from there when we started to see a bulk of people around mile 4 on their way back. The only two redeeming qualities about the route were 1) when you got to mile 5 you could see that you weren’t at the very end of the pack and 2) you didn’t have to dodge any traffic. Speaking of traffic, they had to delay the start of the race by 15 minutes (while we were stuck in the cold wind waiting) because parking was so bad. In fact, it reminded us of the parking before the Decker last year. Overall, I have to give the “Scenic” 10 Miler a ‘C’.

On the flip side, B and I had a great run and felt good at the end.

Race: Girl Scouts-Lone Star Council’s Scenic 10 Miler
Casey


Overall position 641 out of 1198
Class position (M 25-29) 41 out of 62
Chip time 1:28:10.7
Pace 8:49/M

 
Benjamin


Overall position 643 out of 1198
Class position (M 20-24) 18 out of 20
Chip time 1:28:13
Pace 8:49/M

Paces for each mile according to the Garmin:

Mile Pace
1 9:20/M
2 8:58/M
3 9:01/M
4 8:59/M
5 8:39/M
6 9:23/M
7 8:42/M
8 8:41/M
9 8:30/M
10 7:54/M

Next race: Motive Bison Stampede Half Marathon – November 12th

Edit @ 18:56 – thanks to Matt for letting me know the results were up!