Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Free Upgrade!

Life is sooooo good right now.

I'm in Houston tonight, and I feel like a princess. My original room didn't have working internet, phone or lights - so I was upgraded to the only room left at the hotel - a queen suite! And I get to watch a free movie - I'm going to watch Last Kiss, which I've wanted to see for a while now.

I also went out for dinner - and as I was deciding between Panera and SouperSalad (Yes, I'm adventurous, I know), I headed into TJMaxx to see if there were any cute dog dishes. $100+ later, I have a ton of new clothes and 2 new crossword puzzle books. (Who knew!?)

I opted for SouperSalad, and got the to-go buffet and headed back to the hotel. Now I'm watching Sex in the City (a treat, since I don't have cable at home) and eating some delicious blueberry bread and a salad, while chatting to Glenda on my laptop.

Seriously, life is SO good.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Week 3 Workouts

Even with my foot issue, I still managed to eek out a few workouts. Here are the totals:

Total Run: 3 miles (Goal = 36)
Total Bike: 30 miles (Goal = 20)
Total Swim: 4900 (Goal = 2 times)
Gym: 3 times

As you can see, the biggest thing I missed out on was running - I missed 33 miles. This factored for running the 3M half marathon today, with an attempt to PR. But, as things go, I couldn't.

Oh well... I was a little bummed today that I missed out on the fun. But, had I run 3M, I would have missed freezing my butt off while riding around the course cheering for my friends. And I would have missed the strangest cheering I have ever done.

Last year, when I ran with Tim during the last 5 miles of Freescale, he instructed me that I was only to talk about positive things. No negativity allowed. Today, I biked alongside Wiley and cheered. He was not happy with my usual, "You're doing awesome! Way to go! Kick it in!" and instead asked me to curse at him. This was hard for me to do - I don't really like the negative cheering. It sounded like this: "Mike - you are so ugly. We hate you! (But, we really like you. I'm sorry.) You suck! You're the worst runner ever. (No, you're actually really fast.)" It worked though, he did go faster when I was mean.

Anyway, I did make it to the pool today and swam the same workout I did yesterday. There was only one other person at the pool, and the weather (and water) was perfect. I had a great workout.

Even though I still can't really run, I enjoyed hearing everyone's 3M accomplishments while at a celebratory happy hour. I can't wait until I can run again! Until then, I will keep frequenting the gym and try to ride my bike more. I'm supposed to get 80 miles in on the bike this week - hopefully I'll actually make my goal.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Why Maggie Needs a Blog (or... The MerMan)

If Maggie had a blog, she could post a truly funny story about how she almost diluted the Lifetime Fitness pool this afternoon. She could post the pictures she took while trying to appear candid. She could share with us one of the most hilarious things she had ever seen during a swim workout.

But, alas... she doesn't. So I'll do it for her.

The MerMan, by IronMaggie
Today was a pretty good day. I went to work this morning and finished up around 1:30pm. My dear friend Erin had called earlier to see if I wanted to go for a swim, so I was pretty excited about the afternoon.

At about 2:30, Erin finally made it over to my place. (Turns out she had a busy morning riding 20 miles with her friend Laura and trying to master the aerobars on her bike, and then she had lunch - yes at Panera, of course - with her friend Leslie.) She brought an entire wardrobe with her too, as well as 4 pieces of art for me to hang on my walls. After deciding where the new art would go, and doing a clothing swap, we headed over to Lifetime for our workout.

Erin was pretty impressed with my gym, which resembles a mid-size town. We made our way to the pool and chose our workout. We were both feeling pretty good in the pool and really pushed each other. I was pretty impressed that she's doing flip turns now since last time I saw her she looked ridiculous. During our cooldown, we both grabbed our kickboards for some 50's.

As we neared the other end of our lane - we saw it. A black fin approximately 3 feet wide. It was just kind of flapping at the end of the lane, like a happy orca checking things out. Erin & I looked at each other in disbelief, then back to the fin. After a few seconds, an old man, with gloves on his hands, emerged and started flapping back down the lane. It was the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen in a pool. I had to pause at the end of my lane because I was laughing so hard. It didn't help that Erin was laughing hard, too - we unintentionally kept egging each other on.

We continued our kick drills but couldn't stop laughing. What made things worse was that there was another older guy trying to swim in the merman's lane, but he couldn't get past the gigantic fin. We figured that we'd swam 2400 meters, and there was no way we'd be able to swim any more next to the fin. At one point, Erin almost ran into me because she was pushed around by the fin's waves. So, I ran back to the locker room and grabbed my camera to document the merman. I must have looked funny standing at the edge of the pool with my camera-phone, but I didn't care.

I'm quite pleased with my workout... Erin & I really pushed ourselves and did pretty well. Swiming with the MerMan was icing on the cake.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Week 2 Workouts

Even with the "icestorm" last week, I still managed to get most of my workouts in. Thank god for my bike trainer!

Monday: 4 miles run + gym
Tuesday: 20 miles bike
Wednesday: gym
Thursday: 6 miles run
Friday: off
Saturday: 7 miles run + 30 miles bike
Sunday: 25 miles bike

Total Run: 17 miles (Goal = 22)
Total Bike: 75 miles (Goal = 90)
Total Swim: 0 (Goal = 2 times)
Gym: 2 times

While by the numbers it looks like I didn't do well meeting my goals, I was still very pleased with what I did. First, my plan is pretty intense and has me doing a LOT. Second, it was icey for 3 days and I still made my runs and quality bike ride. Third, I volunteered at Frost Your Fanny Sunday morning, but still got up at 5:00am to get at least 25 of the suggested 40 miles on the bike. Fourth, I'm loving the gym - I am definitely getting stronger and my legs feel good! Fifth, the nasty wart on the bottom of my left foot came back, and it *expletive* hurt to do anything.

Unfortunatley, I'm not going to get anywhere close to my goals this week. I got the wart removed this morning, and it hurts just to walk. So, I'm going to take the rest of the week very easy and just go to the gym and swim when I can. I'm not going to do 3M as I had originally planned, but I do plan on riding around the course with Lulu, Joey & Rob and cheering for my friends. That will probably be more fun anyway.

So, let it be known that I will NOT feel guilty about veering from my plan and recovering. I will instead enjoy the break and get revitilized for next week.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Where did my puppy go?

Yesterday, our little darling puppy was spayed. When we picked her up from the vet, she was so groggy on morphine - it was quiet possibly the cutest thing I had ever seen. She could barely keep her eyes open, but she was still so sweet.

I must say, she is growing so big! She's already almost 30 pounds, and almost too heavy to hold. But damn, she is still a cutie pie.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I Burned My Tongue With Ferret Poop

Do I have your attention? Sadly, the title of my blog post is true. Today, I burned my tongue with ferret (well, palm civet actually) poop. One of my coworkers actually spent $160 for a bag of paradise coffee. I shall now show you... the bag.

Uh, what exactly is going on in that picture, Erin? Why... that's a palm civet, my friends. A palm civet who is eating coffee beans, and, well, pooping them out into a coffee mug. Dear god.

Without going in to further detail, I will just tell you that this is the world's most expensive coffee. So... as a team, my company decided we would all partake in trying this coffee. One of the owners brought a coffee grinder and his espresso machine, and brewed up coffee for everyone.

There are some things in life that you don't have any desire to do. Drinking coffee that was pooped out by a ferret is one of them. But, trying the most expensive coffee in the world? Well, I had to. Wouldn't you?! Besides... everyone was doing it!

So, there you have it. Today, I drank paradise coffee. It was too hot, and I burned my tongue. And it had a hint of, what is it, oh yes - barn yard to it. But, I can now say that I've tasted the world's most expensive coffee.

Oh, and if you're interested - here are snippets from the emails we've been sending back and forth for the past two days. All names have been removed to protect my coworkers, uh, dignity?!

Wed, Jan 17th - 10:46am - Breaking news. The coffee is in. Repeat, the coffee is in. If anyone has a bean grinder, bring it in. It is time to enjoy the sweet taste of ferret and/or weasel. Please advise if we have the means to make it.
Wed, Jan 17th - 4:35pm - Lets just say I have never tasted coffee like this. Tomorrow should be very interesting!!! Lets just say there is a little hint of farm yard!! Time to seperate the men from the boys and the women from the girls.

And, some tidbits from today's emails, after our afternoon coffee break:
3:41pm - The Weasel's got me!!
3:54pm - Palm civet. Not a weasel, a palm civet. Please don’t upset the animal, it's temperament is important to us all.
4:01pm - My stomach hurts and I feel a cold sore coming on.
4:02pm - Surely you are not blaming the coffee, [X]. We all know the real reason for your sore, don't hide behind the civet.
4:07pm - The only way to be in the civet club officially is to drink the full amount given to you. Please reply if you have qualified for full membership in this elite club. I have had 2 full servings
4:15pm - I am proud to say I am an active member (at a junior level). I think the degree of effect the civet juice has on you should also determine what level of status you hold in the club. I, for one, am significantly buzzed, and thus, the secretary. I hope to work my way up towards treasurer for the upcoming fiscal year. Word to the wise, don't mix the civet juice with day-quil. Gives you the shakes in all the wrong places.
4: 17pm - [X] You are either a full member or not a member. It is very similar to only being a little bit pregnant. Please refrain from commenting on this forum unless you truly are going to become a full member. Also I saw not one but two 50.00 cups of civet java not consumed fully. Grand Poupba [X] is there some type of penalty for this?
4:18pm - 2.5 cups. And, as proprieter of said club, I must set membership qualifications at that level. [X] gets the exemption as it was his machinery we used. [X] and [X] are out since they didn't even like it. All others are junior members.
4:38pm - I am now at 3 cups I can,t get enough civet poop.
4:47pm - If we could only harness the power of the Civet for good instead of evil, we could stop global warming.
6:13pm - Just talked to Al Gore. He says "My work is done on Global Warming. But, I need to tell you about the next large threat to mankind. Entire economys and empires will be destroyed. Maps will have to rewritten. What is it? Civet coffee abuse." Stay tuned for Al's new movie "An inconvient poop"

*For the record, I sure hope I come up with something better to blog about soon.*

Monday, January 15, 2007

I Heart Scrabble

Oh, life is good today. I finally convinced some friends to join me for some Scrabble. While sadly, I lost each game I played (Damsky!), I still had fun.

And to thoroughly "dork it up" as the cool kids like to say, I drank my coffee from a Scrabble mug while I played. Ah yes, life is good! Next round, anyone?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Poor Birds...

Austin had a bit of a scare on Monday, with the 63 dead birds on Congress Avenue and all. I was thinking that perhaps my friend Jenna had followed through on her plan to eradicate all birds from the world. But apparently, Jenna was not to blame. Someone else did, for some reason, set out some poison. Poor birds.

By the way, I don't really think that 63 dead birds is funny. But these pictures certainly are.

Photo Credit

Monday, January 08, 2007

At a loss...

I'm at a loss. I feel like I have plenty to say, but I can't put anything together coherently. So, instead, I will just write.

I'm tired of being sick. I'm tired of this nagging cough that I can't seem to shake. I am thankful that I don't have bad allergies (for some reason my horrible allergies actually disappeared when I moved from Dallas to Austin!) - but I am really tired of not being able to breath with ease.

Saturday I was supposed to run 15 miles at a progressive pace, but I woke up at 7:00am and couldn't move. This was obviously concerning - I ended up staying in bed and sleeping until 10:00am. It is rare that I sleep in late. It is even more rare that I skip a workout. It is the most rare that I didn't even feel guilty about skipping the workout. I obviously needed the rest.

Which made sense - 2 weeks ago, my weekly mileages were:
Run - 25 miles
Swim - 2200 meters
Bike - 64 miles
Trips to the Gym - 2

and last week:
Run - 17.5 miles
Swim - 5400 meters
Bike - 42 miles
Trips to the Gym - 2

My "plan" officially started today. I ran 5 miles at the trail with my friend Robert. My calves were tight. My legs felt like lead. I thought about my friend who ran 20 miles yesterday. I got over the pain/tiredness/etc. and kept on with my measly, non-windy 5 miles. Tomorrow is an off day, and I'm looking forward to doing nothing!

Phil & I went to the Blanton Museum on Saturday. I'll be honest - I usually don't join the docent tours because I think "I already know enough to appreciate this art without someone else's commentary," but honestly, that is a pretty snobby way of being. So, we joined up with a docent tour and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am always so impressed with the Blanton's collection - it is really a gift to have this museum in Austin.

Yesterday was cool. Claire & I (later joined by Maggie, Joey & Lulu) rode 42 miles from our neighborhood to the San Marcos Outlet Mall, where the ARA 20 Miler was taking place. It was a fabulous ride, and I'll say that I was pretty happy not to be running that race. I also thought it was cool that I made it from my front door to the outlet mall on a bike. I went to a dinner party last night and everyone thought I was crazy when I told them what I did yesterday. I admit, I kind of get off on that a bit.

Later in the day, I joined the Mikes at Barton Springs. I swam 3 laps (3/4 mile) and was pleasantly surprised how great the water felt. I gave Mike (Ostrich) some swimming tips while dog paddling around at the end of the pool. Afterwards we laid around and enjoyed the day and the Springs.

Lately, I've been really busy at work. This is good, of course, but is limiting my ability to keep up with emails/blogs/etc. And when I come home, I'd honestly rather just read my book, hang out with the puppies, and go to sleep. But, I hope this update will suffice for now. Like I said, I have much more to write, but I can't seem to correlate my thoughts. Until then...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Something to Think About

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
- Maya Angelou

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I'm a Geek Because...

There are so many reasons why I'm a geek. Here are a few off the top of my head:
  • I am obsessed with crossword puzzles. I do one every day.

  • I make a game of doing the world jumble as quickly as possible.

  • I can tell you the Scrabble point value of any word you want.

  • I have a blog. (Sorry, I know I've just called the majority of us geeks.)

  • My closet is color coded.

  • I got immense pleasure out of reorganizing my filing system.
  • I'm obsessed with They Might Be Giants.

  • And... well, the list goes on and on.

But for the next few months, I am a geek because I will be obsessed with the CW's Beauty and the Geek.

I love this show so much. The premise: they take 8 beautiful girls with little book smarts (and often little street smarts) and pair them with 8 completely awkward yet intelligent geeky guys. (Think Mensa meets Star Trek.) Then, they have the pairs do challenges and compete to win $250,000. Inevitably, one of the beauties and one of the geeks hooks up. They all learn life lessons about "inner beauty" and "not judging a book by its cover." It's beautiful really. Beautiful and hilarious.

Season Three started up last night. I highly recommend it. Go geeks!!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I'm so excited!!!!!!! Jenna, Annie, Rachel & I are going to Vegas!

We've been talking about getting together for almost a year, now. Usually we hang out in California, but this year... we're going all out. So... May 4-6th - Vegas, better watch out!

By the way, I've never been to Vegas... so, any advice is much appreciated! Where should we stay? Where should we go? What should we do? Help!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!!!

Happy new year to my wonderful friends and family.

I spent the evening at Chuys, Holly's house, our neighbor's house, Jack & Adam's, and at Ostrich's condo. A very very fun evening indeed, and an excellent way to bring in the new year.

2006 was awesome (I'll post more on that later), but I am very excited about what 2007 holds in store.