Tag Archives: thu texas

“Consider to hope against all odds, dream in response to fear, and survive in the face of adversity.”
-R. Wilson

This quote resonated with me today, and like the 24 hours before Feb 16, the 24 hours after Feb 16 – my mind is still racing at a million miles an hour. It’s over. The Austin Half Marathon is over. I finished (with a good time), and what do I do with myself now?

Cliché alert: while the actual race day has ended, I feel like I just started something. Never did I EVER ever ever ever think that me, Thu Nguyen, would take two steps outside, let alone run 13.1 miles up and down hilly Austin, Texas. While my hip is doing some weird popping thing, my legs feel broken, and my toes feel smashed- what an inexplainable feeling.

What’s next? I don’t know, but I know I’m not stopping here.

If you would like a bit of comical relief (or something), this is how my Race Day went:
Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety.
*Clear the mechanism.*
Start – “Go…slow, slow, slow, pace, pace, pace, oooh Gatorade, hydrate. I can just throw these cups on the ground? Okay.”
South Congress – “Oh look, there’s St. Edward’s. I just ran to St. Edward’s…and I have to keep going.”
Ben White – “There’s a dude wearing a sign that says ‘I’m Drunk.’ Ha! Keep going.”
South 1st – This stretch felt like eternity. I kept running and running and running and I was thinking to myself, “Where the hell is that bridge? What mile am I even on? ONLY 8!?”
Somewhere between Mile 8 & Mile 9 – A person was holding a poster with a giant Coach Taylor face that said “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Run Fast.” I clearly shouted “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose,” as I ran past that glorious sign. Keep going.
Split from 26.2 runners – “I know exactly what is about to come, but do I really?” Nope. Naive Thu did not know what was in for the next 2-3 miles…
Einfield Hill – “Shit. Shit. Shit. And there’s running to do on the other side of that hill, shit.”
Last 500m – *Cosmic Love by Florence + The Machine comes on* Perfect timing but also thinking, “Why does this feel like the longest 500 meters of my life?”

Ok, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m…F I N I S H. Done. Fin. What just happened?

If you got all the way down here: thanks for sticking around, I couldn’t have done it without you.

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 10.39.34 AMI wasn’t going to write this post, but since I have the time now…
It’s currently 26 degrees outside and by the time I post this, it might be 40! As I listen to This American Life’s “Day at the Beach” podcast, I’m dreaming of beaches, 75-degree-weather, and the sun. In reality, it’s overcast, frigid, and sad.

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 10.40.31 AM

Five Things I Do During Winter Weather Delays/Cancellations:

  1. Make a proper breakfast. I finally get time to cook bacon, dip my toast in the runny yolk, drink coffee- all while sitting down with no class to rush me. Breakfast is the most important meal, and also my favorite meal.
  2. Run Town Lake. All of my posts have to mention running. Somehow though, I always have to run on the worst weather days. I ran the day it was slushy and I almost slipped a couple of times going across the bridges. ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, there were 0 people there. Is that really the bright side? Running alongside people can be encouraging, but it’s nice having the trail to yourself too. Just don’t run across slush, it can be a slippery slope (pun intended).
  3. Brew my second cup of coffee. Because I can. Living my life on the wild side, whoo.
  4. Drink. This is a popular pastime in Austin… but anywhere really. It’s funny to see places tweet about their drink specials, encouraging us to come to their establishment when some of us can barely get out the door. On that note, I don’t think that stops some of us from drinking. I applaud anyone making that commitment.
  5. Be productive. Do homework, read that book for school, format my resume. While all of these things sound absolutely riveting, I’m probably on YouTube watching live music sessions or brewing my third cup of coffee.

In the end, I could always do one thing: sleep. Sleep is important I heard. But real talk, Texas needs to stop messing around with the weather delays because I’m starting to get used to 3-day school weeks. My mentality to get anything done goes out the door while my physical body stays under the covers. I just wrote a blog post instead of reading a school book. Granted, if you’ve gotten to this point of my blog post, you’ve read my blog post instead of doing whatever you’re supposed to be doing. Congrats, I love you because that clearly means you love me.

Now get back to… things…the things you do. And can you tell the sun to come back? I miss it.

Time flies. I blink and I can’t believe that it has been a year since I picked up running as a habit. It’s not unusual that I get asked how I started starting and I give the same answer that I give when I first blogged about running: the book,  The Power of Habit (…and emotions).

The Austin Marathon & Half Marathon is in about 17 days and now I feel like running has become a chore. I wake up every other day when I’m not doing stretches/squats/recovering with the mindset that I have to run X miles (in Y min/mi). Each time increasing my distance a little bit, so I don’t end up totally left behind as my brother blazes ahead.

For training and interest purposes, I started using Strava, an app that generally is used by cyclists but runners as well. It tracks your pace, your distance, your route, etc. Last night, I looked up when I first started running (or when I first started recording). By sheer coincidence, the first day I recorded my running was the same day I last ran a year later. Look below:


And, excuse my profanity (it gets me through running)- HOLY SHIT.

Here are my *initial* thoughts:

  1. Wow self, you ran slow.
  2. Wow self, you ran barely 3 miles.

Here are the thoughts I should have reminded myself:

  1. Wow self, what a difference a year makes.
  2. You never thought you would run, ever.
  3. But now you’re running a half marathon in 2-ish weeks.
  4. And you’ve got a pretty good pace.
  5. But it’s totally not about the pace, you’re aiming to finish.
  6. Keep going.
  7. Don’t hurt yourself.

What are the chances that I run the same day in the span of a year (actuaries or statisticians?). It’s difficult to remind myself that I’ve come a long way. And I think that has extended to everything I do. I constantly have to…need to remind myself that I started at Point A, everyone starts at Point A and with time, practice, and trying- I’m/we are going to get to Point B.

Treasure the journey and don’t forget the middle part. It’s easy to forget.
17 days.

Here at Thu, Texas, we like to please. I promise you won’t regret reading this, if you do, oops.

I had some thoughts, as per usual. But today it’s about SCHOOL:

  1. It’s my last days of undergrad. You heard it here first. FROM ME. I know many people are probably getting flooded by Facebook statuses, Tweets, & Instagrams of the bittersweet “omg it’s my last First Day!” posts. Sorry, it means something. Or something.
  2. Experience-based learning should be implemented across the board. My Spanish 4 class has a cultural-research/service-project component. Granted, it’s going to take time and commitment. I might end up hating it…but I might end up loving it. I’m going to think the latter, positive thoughts. “Volunteer more,” is on my list too! It’s like they knew.
  3. All advertising professors are, for lack of better words, smart asses. Take a look below. These are from my syllabi. “For reals” and seriously, what a wonderful concept Spring Break is (I will miss it). You don’t see that on a cellular biology syllabus…or maybe I’m wrong, I’ve never taken cellular biology.


    “For reals.”

  4. 9 AM is too early for almost-bike accidents…and Spanish. My first day, I almost died twice when I was in two different situations where a transportation device pulled out on me. Obviously, if I went up against the van, they win every time. And it seemed like the cyclist didn’t understand the concept of looking both ways. I yelled at her. Sorry not sorry, be more educated so I don’t get another concussion. Spanish, look at #1. Also, I will undoubtedly need coffee for class.
  5. Sidebar: I am over running, help me please. I’m going to talk about running, because now that I have a new school schedule, I have to figure out how I’m going to incorporate training. The Austin Half is in roughly a month. SHIT. I know I wrote about motivation, but as I expressed, it’s hard to keep yourself motivated. I’m in a [figurative] valley right now, wanting to stay there because running uphill is stupid.

Stay tuned to read how a 22-year-old-almost-graduate journeys her way through her newest endeavor: job searching. Suggestions welcomed.