Thursday, March 29, 2007
You end up staying with your friends at happy hour 2.5 hours longer than you meant to.
One hour after you get home, and you're sound asleep in bed, they text message you telling you to call them.
Thinking something is wrong (I mean, what does this message mean at 12:30am?), you call them and they put you on speakerphone so you can continue the happy hour.
Monday, March 26, 2007
I really liked Memorial Park, by the way. I find something new to like about Houston each time I visit.
After running errands, happy hour at Amazon Grill, and dinner at Yia Yia Mary's, I took my dad to the most amazing place on earth - the Desert Gallery. The pictures says it all.
Mmmmmmmm!!! I opted for a chocolate cupcake; Dad opted for a carrot cake cupcake. They were soooooo good. It's a good thing there isn't a Dessert Gallery in Austin!
It has been so fun hanging out with my dad, getting to know him better and catching up. I think I may have convinced him to schedule more trips to Houston! :)
Sunday, March 25, 2007
To which my coworker replied, "You really think? If you didn't have any obligations, you would work out?!"
Well, I suppose he was right. I like working out, but I'm not sure that's my PASSION, exactly.
I've been giving it more thought, and I've returned to one of my new year's resolutions - help each one of my friends (who asks) accomplish something important to them.
Now we're on to something! Honestly, I think my passion is helping others. This is what I enjoy more than anything... Perhaps this is why I keep trying to clone myself into all of my friends! (i.e. Michelle, Leslie, etc...)
And so brings us to this morning, where I watched the next chapter in the life of my hot pink road bike unfold. This morning, I met Leslie at the Veloway to help teach her how to ride the bike. I originally planned on getting about 30 miles in, but instead I rode alongside her (or stayed on the curb and watched her) as she learned how to clip in and out of the pedals and turn right and left. She was amazing... granted, she had her fair share of falls (as anyone learning all of this does); but she kept getting right back on the bike and kept trying. She made immense progress in just the hour we worked together, and I'm confident that she'll be attacking the full Veloway next Saturday.
To be honest, I had just as much fun helping a friend start working towards her own accomplishment as I do working on my own accomplishments. I'm so excited to see how much progress she will make, and to read her race report from her first triathlon. (Reminds me of my bike progress.) I didn't even have regrets of not riding 30 miles.
I'm also excited to see the hot pink road bike get some more miles and do some more races. (The picture shows us together at the mile 55 or so at Prarieman.)
Anyway, for now, if you ask me what my passion is, I'm sure of my answer.
Total Bike: 75 miles / 2 times (Goal = 100miles)
Total Swim: 3.5 miles / 2 times (Goal = 2 times)
Total Gym: 3 times
Total Core Class: 1 time
This was a really fun week for me - I felt great, had excellent workouts, and enjoyed every minute of it!
Monday: Went for a 7 mile run with Michelle at 5:30 - was so happy to get this done early, and was impressed how great I felt after the 47 mile bike ride the previous day. In the afternoon, I went to the gym for a bit, then to Adam's core class. The class was hard, but when I was done I felt like I could have pushed it more. I wasn't really sore this time.
Tuesday: Swam in the morning. Got there early, so ended up swimming about 2 miles - thought I'd be taking it easy, but actually it was a really great (and hard) workout. Rather than work out in the evening, I met the Bluejackets in the Runtex Parking lot for a 2 hour parking lot happy hour. (Great workout! Ha!)
Wednesday: Met Stephanie at the gym in the morning. Quality run workout in the evening (1 x 2000 @ 10K pace, 2 x 1000 @ 5K pace, 4 x 400 @ mile pace) - managed to hit all my paces and even got faster at my 400s.
Thursday: Great swim class in the morning, followed by an extremely busy day. Ended the night with my company's crawfish boil, then the pub run. Didn't get home until 2:00am, but steered clear of alcohol. (Good girl!)
Friday: Somehow managed to get up and meet Holly for a run at 6:15am. We ran the perfect pace, had great conversation and I felt fabulous. Went to the gym in the afternoon.
Saturday: Rosedale Ride - 65 miles! See below for more info...
Sunday: Easy bike ride at the Veloway, met up with Leslie. I'll post about that separately. I'm going to try to hit the gym this afternoon, or go for an easy run, but if I skip it, then so be it.
My favorite thing this week was the Rosedale Ride. I had planned on doing the 45 mile distance, but Claire kept nudging me to ride the 65 mile route. When I saw Kris at the start, and found out she was doing 65, I decided to try it. Kris and I stayed behind Panther & Lulu for about 5 miles; Kris just wanted to keep them in sight, but I figured they'd drop us in no time. Somehow, we managed to keep behind them and at one point, Panther turned around and said, "good - I was just saying how the two of you should be keeping up with us." (Great, I thought, this is going to be tough!)
From there, we all rode together until the 2nd rest stop. We did some pace lines, and Lulu, Kris and I would speed up each time we took the lead. At some points, we were averaging 20-23mph which made me nervous about bonking later. We stayed together again until the 4th rest stop, and we were pushing the pace pretty good. Not many people passed us, but we passed a lot of people. At the 4th rest stop, Panther decided we should all push it for the next 15 miles and regroup. We split up and braved some intense headwind & hills on our own, and all came in within minutes of each other at our meeting point. We decided to take it somewhat easy for the last 15 miles, though we still ended up going about 18mph, even with some annoying hills and more headwind. The four of us crossed the finish line together, and ended up averaging 16.6 mph. (Total time= 3:49)
I must admit, I am very surprised that I could keep up with them for the whole ride. I never felt like I couldn't do it, and I wasn't really *that* tired by the end. (I could definitely have done more, though I was glad to be done!) I was talking to Claire about the ride later, and she said, "Erin - all of your training this winter is really paying off." And it hit me that she was right. I really am so much stronger than I was at the beginning of the season. I have been working hard at the gym. I can feel strength from my back when I pull up hills, and strength in my quads when I push the big gears. I also feel more comfortable spinning - I can tell that the work from the cycling studies really helped train me to spin spin spin.
The craziest thing for me? I actually enjoy riding! Yesterday was the most fun workout I've had in a while, which is saying something b/c I've really liked my workouts lately. (By the way, one of the best parts of cyling with friends is the ability to have conversations together and getting to know each other better. I was so happy to get to see Lulu again - it has been a while. And getting to know Kris better was great - turns out she's more like me than I could have imagined. And, getting serenaded KISS songs by Panther, well, what can I say about that?!) And of course, lunch at Vivo with the group + Banana was fabulous.
So, we'll see, but I think cycling may be my strongest sport by the time the summer is done.
Week 11 - Favorite one yet!
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Or, when someone is talking to you and when they're done, there is no way that you could repeat what they said because you weren't paying attention at all?
Wiley, Kris, Panther & I were having this discussion on Sunday, and I learned a new term - "White Noise." Definition: the "sshhhhhh" sound in one's brain that results from complete non-interest of what someone is talking about.
Today, my boss was talking about his landscaping projects: White Noise for Erin. I was telling him about my quality run workout last night: White Noise for Mike. I was talking to a roomful of people at lunch about running: White Noise for the entire room!
So, what are some things that cause White Noise for me?
- food (that has meat)
- sports (unless we're talking about my bracket)
I know there are many others... but those are the ones I immediately think of.
And, in the future, if you are experiencing white noise with me - please tell me. I'll happily shut up and we can go about our day.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Monday – long run, work, gym, core workout
Tuesday – long swim, work, meet with you guys for beers in the parking lot
Wednesday – gym, work, luncheon (I have to speak), work, team affliction run workout
Thursday – swim, work, luncheon (I am giving a presentation), decorate crawfish boil, company crawfish boil, pub run
Friday – run, work, lunch meeting, work, gym, casino night in San Antonio
Saturday – long bike ride (62 miles?), nap, dinner with friends
Sunday – long ride/run, recover?!!
Sorry… I think I win!!! :)
Meanwhile, I am really busy at work. (Of course, what else is new.) When this happens, I find as many distractions as possible to keep me from 1) working, and 2) looking at how much I have going on. Today, my distractions are as follows:
1) The A-Hole Test, thanks to Lulu. Here are some of my favorites:
- You find it useful to glare at, insult, and even occasionally holler at some of the idiots at your workplace – otherwise, they never seem to shape-up.
- You take credit for the accomplishments of your team – why not? They would be nowhere without you.
- You don't make mistakes. When something goes wrong, you always find some idiot to blame.
- Your jokes and teasing can get a bit nasty at times, but you have to admit, they are pretty funny.
And my personal favorite:
- You love your immediate team and they love you, but are at constant warfare with the rest of the organization. You treat everyone else like crap because, after all, if you're not on my team, you either don't matter or are the enemy.
2) The 50 States Game, again thanks Lulu. For the life of me, I can't get all 50. Last time I played, I was just 1 short. Damn Nebraska.
3) Reading the multitude of emails that my friends and I send back and forth all day long. I think I have about 5 different conversations going on at the moment.
4) Updating my blog. Speaking of... I should, well, probably get back to work. Lulu, please stop emailing me these things!! (Just kidding!)
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Total Bike: 100 miles / 3 times (Goal = 90 miles)
Total Swim: 4200M / 2 times (Goal = 2 times)
Total Gym: 3 times
Second week in a row that I hit my bike goal miles - wahoo!!
Monday - Ran with Michelle before Jack & Adam's core class, which I already mentioned was ridiculous. In a good way.
Tuesday - Made it to swimming early and got an extra 1000m in, bringing the workout to 2 miles. I meant for this to be an off day, but the 1.5 swim class was actually really challenging.
Wednesday - Gym in the morning, Quality Run in the afternoon. We did "Panther's Paces" which was 3 x 400m @ 1/2marathon, 400m @ 10K, 400m @ 5K, 200m @ 1mile, 200m rest. Great workout, and I managed to hit my numbers even though I started too fast.
Thursday - Swim in the morning, Quality Ride in the afternoon. Probably my most favorite bike workout I've ever done.
Friday - Gym in the morning, OFF in the afternoon. Luckily I got permission not to run, because I really needed some time off.
Saturday - 30 mile ride + 3 mile run with Michelle. Loved this workout, and was very glad that Michelle has got the training fever like me.
Sunday - 46 mile Creedmoore Cruise ride with Team Affliction/IronManiacs. Managed to stay with a strong group (Glenda, Meg, Kris, Mark, Panther, Steven, Rabbit, Deon) the entire way, even through the hard rolling hills into the wind. I was amazed that I could keep up with them. Post-ride lunch at Maudie's was icing on the cake.
Anyway, this week will be a bit harder as I have a crawfish boil for work on Thursday. I do plan on making it to the pub run. :)
My schedule this week, in case anyone wants to join me:
Monday - am: run 6 miles, pm: Adam's core class
Tuesday - am: swim class, pm: bike
Wednesday- am: gym, pm: quality run
Thursday - am: swim
Friday - am: run 6 miles, pm: gym
Saturday - am: Rosedale Ride (42 or 62 miles)
Sunday - am: run? bike? swim? rest? We'll see!
Goal miles: run -22, bike -100, swim -2 times, gym - 3 times
Friday, March 16, 2007
I was so upset and frustrated at the workout that I cried all the way home, and then threw my bike across the front yard. I remember calling my dad to tell him how awful my first bike workout was, but that I would soon look back and remember how awful I was feeling and appreciate how much progress I would make. (I'm amazed I could think like that at the time!)
Two year later: I had the most awesome bike workout last night. As I've mentioned, I'm getting much more comfortable on my bike and even looking forward to the workouts. Last night we essentially did a time trial - seeing how many laps we could go around the Veloway in 45 minutes. After staying right behind Laura & Kris for the first lap, I took the lead and amazed myself at how great I felt and how fast I could go (and maintain.) For 45 minutes, I felt like a true and honest cyclist. I felt comfortable with my bike. Experienced. Fearless.
The icing on the cake was an email from Panther this morning that included this:
"Amber is kicking some serious ass. Tonight, at the Veloway during our crit, she was SPANKING these 4 dudes, who were not slouches. They were serious cyclists, and 2 of them even had the same jerseys on....so they were part of a team. She was out in front, and these guys were PISSED off that they were being spanked by a girl. It was awesome!! I came up from behind them and saw them all behind Amber, and you could tell that they were working SO HARD to try to catch up to her and try to look cool, but they just couldn't do it. She rode them off her wheel, and that was it. That really was one of the proudest moments I think I've ever had as a coach."
Ultimately, I don't really care about racing. What I really enjoy is the training. And it's the workouts like these that make all the training worth it.
I've come a long way.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
As I mentioned previously, all the big shots at my company are gone. This left me to be the official signer of checks, including payroll. As I went through all of the employee checks today, I specifically avoided looking at the number in the amount part of the check.
I've worked in accounting at 2 other companies before, and I remember feeling extremely bitter at how much some of the employees were making. I felt slighted, undervalued, annoyed, etc...
I love my job. I don't feel slighted, undervalued, or annoyed. I feel that I make exactly what I should be making. So I resisted the obvious urge to see how everyone else sized up. In fact, I used my hand to cover up half the checks so I wouldn't accidentally peak. As I write this, I am not even curious about the numbers. I am still just as happy with my paycheck as I was an hour ago.
I must mention that she called me at 5:50 and said she wasn't going to make it. Hmpf! I still went though. (The thought of the 1/4 box of Chocolate Special K cereal I mindlessly ate while watching American Idol was a big motivator!)
There are not many people at the gym at 6:00am. I pretty much grouped everyone into 4 categories:
1) The Elderly. Seriously, about 60% of the people there were about 65 and up. For the most part, they are very cute. Except for the ones who are stronger than me.
2) The personal trainers & trainees.
3) The focused get in/get 'er done/get out people. I classify myself here.
4) The misfits. These are my favorite - they are people that do not look like they belong at the gym. Some clues: jean shorts. polo shirts. socks to their knees. khaki pants. a look of confusion and/or desperation. Seriously, people. I am begging you - throw away your jean shorts!! There is no place for them. None! Especially not at the gym!!
Anyway, this was a good workout. I only did upper body and abs since I will be running tonight. I could certainly feel pangs of soreness from Monday's core class. I'm glad I got the workout in. Stephanie, you missed out.
On my way in to work, I passed by the new Starbucks at Ben White & 35. I was shocked at the number of cars waiting in the drive-thru. I could tell by the number of headlights, and there were at least 8 sets. I'm amazed at how a few months ago there was nothing but field, and now there is this small cement box (about the size of 1 Pizza Hut) that draws tons of people at 7:00am.
I have a feeling it's going to be a great day. By being "stuck" in the office this week, I'm getting a LOT done. And, I've got a lunch appointment at Truluck's to learn about, um, software - I can't wait!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
My problem is that when I swim, I somehow swallow way too much air and water. About 10 minutes after I get out of the pool, I feel like I have a giant water balloon in my stomach. You know how you can stick out your stomach really far and look like you're pregnant? Well, that's me. And I can't fix it for at least an hour or so. Sometimes, it hurts so much that I'm doubled over in pain and can't stand straight.
I don't remember this happening to me during a triathlon. Yet. But I have had this feeling about 75% of the times I've swam this year. I dread having it happen during a race. How will I bike? Run? yikes!
And perhaps more importantly, I need to get a hold of this so my coworkers stop thinking that I'm pregnant!
Anyway, I had a great swim this morning. I went to class early to get some extra laps in and ended the workout after 2 miles. Great class. (BTW- I'm so happy I'm in town!) Four hours later, I think I'm finally starting to lose my water balloon stomach!
Monday, March 12, 2007
Met Michelle, Maggie, Laura, Glenda and about 30 other folks for Adam's core class at Jack and Adams. Wow! The first thing we did was the plank. For 4 minutes. Yes, I said 4 minutes. I made it 2 minutes. This class is awesome... I'm going to go every Monday that I'm in Austin, and hopefully my dreams of strong abs will come true!
Anyway, the benefit of the cold leaving, and summer approaching, is DST. I am LOVING the extra hour of daylight! When I got home, at 6:45pm, I actually had time to walk the dogs with Phil. It was awesome.
For the record, it's going to be one hot summer. Barton Springs, here I come!
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Some of you have asked me to keep adding links to the right of the page so they can use my blog as a "home base" and check everyone else out through my links. So... I've obliged and added more friends. Additional FOMO Club members, really. Hope you get a chance to check them out.
BTW - Two more places I frequent often, but don't really see a point in linking, is Chris Flett's blog. I went to a lecture by him and found him really interesting. Also, I read David Zinczenko's blog/articles. He doesn't post a lot, but what he does post is worth the read. If you are ever bored, check out these sites.
Total Run: 12 miles / 3 times (Goal = 20 miles)
Total Bike: 90 miles / 3 times (Goal = 90 miles)
Total Swim: 2 miles / 2 times (Goal = 2 times)
Total Gym: 3 times
Here's how the week played out:
- Monday: managed to drag my coworkers with me to the Lake Jackson Family Fitness Center so I could run 5 miles. I enjoyed the fact that they kept wondering, "when is she going to stop running? We want to leave! Won't it stop!?"
- Tuesday: got up at 5:30 to return to the Lake Jackson Fitness Center and get my gym workout in. Really enjoyed the new workout, and I definitely considered this a cardio workout too. Was going to run at Memorial Park at night, but opted for happy hour instead.
- Wednesday: First meeting of PR class/Camp Punishment/Rogue Tri Group. Ran 2 mile time trial in 15:48 (7:55 mile pace) and was pleased. Definitely an improvement over last year.
- Thursday: Made it to swim class in the morning! Still couldn't breath well, but worked on my stroke and at least reminded my body what the pool felt like. After work, I rode with the Camp Punishment/Rogue Tri Group. The workout was to ride from Runtex, down Mopac, to 360 and make it as far as you could in 45 minutes before turning around. I made it almost to Westlake Drive, and then helped another girl in our group on the way back. Between the wind and the traffic, I thought multiple times that I was going to die, but this was certainly a confidence booster. 20 miles total.
- Friday: personal training session at the gym. I really liked the workout, but sadly Stephanie didn't. We did some crazy stuff, like walking like an upside down crab. I really enjoyed doing different things than normal, and I was actually sore the next day.
- Saturday: 30 mile ride / 3 mile run with Michelle & Rebecca. We used my house as transition, which was fun. The ride was pretty easy, thanks to a nice tailwind along Bee Caves. I brought Olive along for the run, though I had to pull her for the last 2 miles. Sad when I'm pulling a dog downhill! Later, Glenda & I went to Stacey Pool to swim. It was perfect weather and I finally felt like I was getting my stroke back. I've been kind of mediocre about swimming lately, so it was really nice to feel good in the water.
- Sunday: 40 mile ride with Rogue Tri Group. What a treat - Glenda joined us. I rode with her and Daniel for most of the ride, and we kept it pretty easy but still strong. Glenda & I rode extra so I could get 40 instead of 30 miles, and thus meet my goal. I felt like a true cyclist because I rode to the workout versus drove. Stopped at Jack & Adam's on the way back to recalibrate my computer, and also finally got to meet Amanda. I spotted her on the trail, so I called her over to say hello. (Love your accent, Amanda!) I'm heading to the gym in a bit, and then calling it a week.
I'm very excited about this upcoming week - turns out I don't have to go to Houston because I am acting general manager at work! (All the owners & GM are on spring break vacation.) So, I'll be able to make all of my workouts! I'm so excited!
What did I learn since last week? This week, I relaxed, let go a little... and I met my new goal. I'm pleased to say that this week, I enjoyed all of it!
Friday, March 09, 2007
Thanks for a great lunch today, girls!!
Total Run: 10 miles / 2 times (Goal = 20 miles)
Total Bike: 50 miles / 2 times (Goal = 70 miles)
Total Swim: 1150m / 1 times (Goal = 2 times)
Total Gym: 3 times
1) I was sick last week... hence my realization of wanting to enjoy myself versus stress myself out.
2) Cycling studies are done! Not being able to get my leg wet limited my swimming.
3) I had 2 awesome workouts, one was riding with Laura on Wednesday; other was long run with Steph and Leslie - so much fun to hang out with those girls!
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
1 night at the most greasy, buttery restaurant I've ever seen - check
1 night pigging out at the Ryan's Steakhouse desert buffet - check
160 visits to insurance agents - check
12 cities covered during marketing blitz- check
2 trips to the cutest local gym ever - check
1 potential new hire from interviews - check
4 drive-by's of a 3 story white concrete statue of Stephen F. Austin - check
1 night in a sketchy hotel off I10 - check
1 night full of margaritas - check
1 hangover somehow avoided - check
To be honest... I like Houston. It's aways an experience. But...
I'm coming home. Yippee!!
Saturday, March 03, 2007
This morning I was supposed to do a 50 mile bike ride in Bastrop. I have been sick the past few days, and I was kind of getting stressed out about having to do the ride. I hadn't paid yet, but I had promised friends I was going. Plus, I need 20 more miles on the bike to reach my goal this week. Not to mention that I am only at 3 of my 20 goal running miles for the week.
But, I succumbed to my bed this morning and stayed in. The fact that I sound like a smoker when I cough, coupled with massive head congestion, convinced me that I didn't need to be riding in the cold and wind. So instead, I made some coffee, went back to bed, and read the book I've been trying to finish for months. After a while, I brought my book downstairs, made breakfast, and played with the dogs.
My morning was wonderful!! Sure, I felt some twangs of guilt for not working out. But today, I got much more satisfaction from finishing 200+ pages of my book and getting to file it back in the bookcase. (And subsequently feeling better because I've been resting.)
In light of a great day, I am reevaluating my training.
- I have been getting so stressed out about achieving my weekly goal mileage numbers that I'm starting to resent my workouts. And it's only my "base training" phase.
- I filled in my calendar for the next 4 months and I am travelling almost every week. It is unrealistic that I will be able to do each necessary workout with the schedule I'm up against. I hate feeling conflicted when I travel, resenting my job (that I normally love!) because I can't fit in a bike or a swim when I'm on the road.
- I am doing miserably at making my swim classes. I can usually only make 1 out of every 5-6 classes, and I can tell how much I've slipped.
- I'm not as excited as I had hoped about the races I am training for. Maybe it's because I feel my schedule is preparing me for another half ironman when I'm only training for sprint & olympic triathlons. Not sure, but I want to feel excited about racing again.
- On Friday, Stephanie & I started seeing a personal trainer at the gym. I LOVED the workout, and I want to spend more of my time working on the new program.
- I have always been prone to burn out. I love triathlons, and I hate the fact that I'm already seeing signs of boredom/angst in my training.
(In fact, one of my favorite races ever - the Splash Triathlon - was done with little training and no stress. It ended up being one of my best races.)
If I want to sleep in on Saturday, or skip a workout to finish a great book, or take my dogs for a walk instead of a run... I am going to do it. As guilt-free as possible.
My new goal: Enjoy myself!
Friday, March 02, 2007
The exhibition is awesome!!! Again, I went in to the exhibition thinking that it would be okay, but nothing that wouldblow me away. I was very presently surprised at this one - and I have a new favorite artist - Joaquin Torres-Garcia. His stuff is so cool - check it out!
Anyway, the joke of the night, thanks to Kenny, centered around the word "Brazilian."
Q. How many psos from Brazil are in $8?
A. A Brazilian!
Commentary: For Rio?!
Q. How many miles away is the car?
A. A Brazilian!
Commentary: For Rio?
I also enjoyed some text messages from Wiley about the nasty porn in one of the upstairs works (please note that I had never noticed this before) and watching Kenny make faces that matched the Jobbit dolls in the gift shop. It also was a highlight, as always, to watch Tim & Rhonda dance. They are bossa nova studs.
Anyway, have you checked out the Blanton yet? No??!! Get your butt over there!!!!!