Monday, April 30, 2007

Las Vegas 2007

I returned from my "Girl's Weekend" in Las Vegas at 12:35am this morning. I've managed to stay awake today thanks to two giant cups of coffee. How was the trip? Awesome, of course!

Some background - Jenna & I have been best friends since we were 9 years old, when we were bunkmates at summer camp. We were also roommates through college, and now she lives in LA. Rachel (now in San Diego) & I have known each other since we were 11, through camp and youth groups. And Annie (now in Birmingham) was my first new friend at U.T., and Jenna, Annie & I were somewhat inseparable in college. The four of us get together every year, and this year (as there were no weddings), we chose Las Vegas.

Since I had worked almost 50 hours by Thursday evening, I took the day off on Friday so that I could catch up with my life before I left. This somewhat worked out (of course I ended up working some, and during the entire plane ride, but that was fine.) I started the day with a great run with Leslie & Michelle, followed by breakfast, followed by the gym with Phil, packet pickup with Tim, laundry, etc... By the time I got on the plane, I was already pretty tired! But you can't help but get riled up on a plane to Vegas- everyone was starting to party early.

Luckily, Jenna & Annie were waiting for me in the airport when I arrived, so we taxied over to our hotel together. After checking in at the Mirage, we went to a sushi lounge to have dinner and wait for Rachel. We ended up spending the night there, catching up and resting for Saturday.

With added help from a 2 hour time difference, I woke up Saturday morning ready to take on the day. Jenna, Annie & Rachel on the other hand... well, not so much. So, I went for a 45 minute run behind the strip and down the strip. It was hot out, but obviously not humid like Austin. I really enjoyed the run, and managed to orient myself to the strip, which was helpful later. I could have kept going for at least 45 minutes, but instead opted to go back to the room and get ready. I managed to shower and dress before everyone else got up, then waited for them to get ready. (I should have kept running!)

Once dressed, we decided to find a place to eat and explore the casinos. We ended up eating at the Bellagio buffet, and it was insanely delicious. I love love love breakfast buffets, and this one was complete with fresh fruit, pancakes, waffles, french toast, potatoes, deserts... well, everything. We were so stuffed that no one wanted to go to New York New York to ride the rollercoaster. :( I convinced everyone to keep exploring the casinos, and luckily Annie felt good enough to ride the coaster with me. It was great, and I was a total dork - keeping my "hook 'em horns" signs up the whole time for the cameras.

After playing around in the arcade, we took a taxi back to the hotel. Thanks to my morning run, I helped the taxi driver take a back way to the hotel and avoided a ton of traffic. It was about 3:00 now, so we changed and headed down to the pool. It was so nice to hang out in the pool, Mai Tai in hand, and not worry about swimming laps. :) We stayed until the pool closed and then got ready for dinner.

Originally we were going to head to PURE, but we decided instead to meet up with people we met at the pool. So, the four of us went to a fabulous dinner at Wolfgang Puck's in the Venetian, then headed to Tryst at the Wynn. Jenna managed to get us to the front of the line, and once in the club Jenna & I hooked up with a group who had a table near the dance floor. I'll skip the details, but I will say that the next morning - our damage was: 1 half eaten box of better cheddars, bought at some store called "Impulse;" empty martini glasses from a bar called "Revolution," about 20 towels from room service, lots of cuts and blisters on our feet, and a big bruise on my elbow from Rachel grabbing me and saying, "Erin - we are leaving. NOW!" Good stuff. :)

Anyway, since Sunday was Annie's birthday - I bought her a nice hangover breakfast downstairs and then we sent her on her way. Jenna, Rachel & I headed down to the pool again until Jenna had to go. Then Rachel & I went to the Paris for buffet #2 of the trip. By 5:00pm, I was ready to leave Vegas. There is only so much of it one can take, I think.

I had a fabulous time seeing my girlfriends. I'm pleased to say that I none of us gambled at all - the trip was actually pretty cheap, to be honest. We will definitely be doing a girl's trip each year... it was so nice to get away and relax with them. I must admit that we were somewhat struggling with the idea that we are nearing our 30's! We've known each other for almost 2/3 of our lives.

Overall - fabulous weekend. I feel so lucky to remain so close to these girls.

I'm Back...

I'm back! Details to come, but until then...
I bring you Las Vegas at 2:00pm vs. 2:00am.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Week 16 Workouts

Total Run: 16.5 miles / 2 times (Goal = 15 miles) ***
Total Bike: 41 miles / 2 times (Goal = 30-50 miles)
Total Swim: 2000 meters / 1 time (Goal = 2 times)
Total Gym: 2 times

With all of my traveling, this was meant to be an easy week. I managed to fit a lot in, even working 12 hour days all week. I wish I'd been able to bike with Lulu today, but I couldn't fit it in.

I'm going to try to run on the Strip while I am in Vegas, but I'm not making any promises!

By the way, I am feeling fantastic lately. I've been eating much healthier, and I feel like it's paying off. I've been logging all of my food intake, which helps keep me accountable for what I am eating. Hopefully I won't stray too much this weekend. :)

***Update - I ran in Vegas, 4 miles on the strip. It was awesome.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fighting FOMO

Rather than attend the Camp Punishment happy hour tonight, I'm checking emails, updating my blog, and going to bed early. All of this waking up early and driving to different cities is tiring. If I'm going to get up early to swim tomorrow, and run again on Friday, I'm taking a rest.

My presentation today was awesome. I got top scores on my course evaluation, with some people saying it was the best course they had seen. I really enjoyed teaching & presenting, which was surprising to me. Seems that winging it worked this time!

Since I had already racked up 33 hours this week at work, I decided to call it an early day and headed to Barton Springs with Maggie. It was so nice to be in the sun, relax, hang out, and enjoy a tiny stretch of down time. (I didn't even consider doing laps!) We were fortunate enough to get a visit from Ostrich, who was *shocker* hanging out at the Springs.

Next we headed to the Veloway to meet Glenda. There, Glenda & I rode 21 miles and averaged 18 miles per hour. I love how my "easy rides" with Glenda are actually pretty tough... perhaps I will start tricking myself that a hard pace is actually easy. There were tons of people out, which means triathlon season has officially started.

By the way, it is sad that I didn't even feel like I worked out once we were done. As if an hour of hard riding isn't enough. After the ride, we had dinner at WanFu2 - yum yum yum. And then I came home. And resisted heading back out. Good for me.

All in all, this day turned out pretty darn great!

Hi from Houston

I arrived to Houston a bit early, so I stopped in at Panera to get a choco-nut bagel and check my email. (Buzz -I am only eating half of this bagel now... Ha!)

I'm about to go teach a continuing education class on "Business & Consumer Ethics." I haven't prepared at all. I did download some youtube clips, but I didn't bring speakers so they are pointless. (I had "Coffee is for Closers," "You Can't Handle the Truth" and a montage of pranks from "The Office.")

Why is it that I don't seem to prepare for anything anymore? Seriously, I feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants lately. I must not be doing too bad a job of it, or at least no one has called me out yet. To my face, at least. Kris & Glenda seem to think that I'm just getting more experienced in business, knowing what I can and can't get away with. Panther thinks this is the proper way to do things, as long as I have handouts. Shoot, no handouts today. Either way, I'm just trying to make it through this week so I can have some office (catch-up) time next week.

I am glad to say that I'm still managing to get some good workouts in this week. On Monday, I went to the gym & rode 20 miles. Yesterday, I did my quality run workout for a total of 6 miles. Today I plan on riding or running, and perhaps getting to the gym when I get back in town. Tomorrow I swim, and Friday I am doing a long run with Michelle at 5:15am. Not bad for being so busy, right? Honestly, these workouts are what I look forward to more than anything. They are my chance to unwind and see friends. And feel good about myself in light of the bagel I just ate. :)

Alright, I should head back onto the dreary, traffic-filled roads of Houston to get to my class. Go Ethics!

Monday, April 23, 2007

A good break!

When I set my alarm last night -I wasn't thrilled about having to wake up at 5:00am and drive to Houston for a meeting. But the time in the car, listening to trashy radio, and basically mentally vegging out, was really nice. When I returned to my Austin office, I was treated to piles of work on my desk and over 300 emails.

I managed to get all the necessary stuff done (including preparing for a class in San Antonio tomorrow morning) in time to go to the gym at 4:00. I must say, I love the gym. I love seeing the same people there. I love not having to think about what I'm doing, but instead just doing a mindless routine. I love the feeling of doing something good for my body, versus eating whatever snacks are lying around my office.

After the gym, I made some work phone calls and headed to the Veloway to meet Kris & Glenda. We had such a great ride - we took it pretty easy (if you can call riding with Glenda and Kris easy), averaged about 17mph, rode 20 miles, and talked the whole time. I made it a point not to answer my phone the 2 times it rang. Instead, I just enjoyed being out there, with great friends. Unfortunately, when I checked my voicemail, both owners of my company had called me telling me they needed a proposal done by 8:30am in the morning. "Erin, just get there early tomorrow and knock it out." I they didn't realize I'm leaving the office by 6:30 to make it to San Antonio. Ugh, some advance notice would have been nice, though that's not really the way it works in my industry.

So, I ended up working the rest of the night, and will still get to work really early tomorrow morning. I'm not too upset, though - I had some great breaks today.

*I made Glenda & Kris pose with me to test out my brand new digital camera!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Week 15 Workouts

Total Run: 20 miles / 3 times (Goal = 20 miles)
Total Bike: 92 miles / 3 times (Goal = 80 miles)
Total Swim: 4000 meters / 2 times (Goal = 2 times)
Total Gym: 2 times

Yeah, that's right. I hit my goals spot on!

Thanks to the magic of rest and a massage, I was back to normal by Tuesday. I had a really great week of workouts, with some of the following highlights:

On Tuesday night, Leslie & I braved the rain and did "Panther's Ladder" at Austin High for a total of 7 miles. The workout consisted of various distances at 5K pace, starting at 400m all the way up to 1200m and back down. I was really glad that I was able to keep up with her, because I think of Leslie as being pretty close to me ability, yet still faster.

Wednesday, Lulu & I had an easy ride at the Veloway for a total of 18 miles. I also met Leslie there and she did great on her bike.

Thursday, Lulu & I did a nice brick of 360 & Rollingwood; even though I was tired, it was a great workout. 22 mile bike, 2.5 mile run.

Saturday, I ran 10 miles with Stephanie & Leslie, and I felt great. I never once felt tired and I was surprised at how easy the run was, especially because I haven't run that long in months. Later, Glenda, Amy & I went to Deep Eddy to swim. I swam 1 mile right off the bat, and felt like I could have kept going forever. I ended up at a little less than 1.5 miles.

Sunday, I did the Manville Anville 50 mile bike ride with Team Affliction. The ride was awesome, and I felt very strong. We did a lot of pace lines, and then had a stretch where we split up and hit a hard race pace. I was all alone for quite a while until Kris & Deon caught me and we waited for the rest of the group to catch up. It was fun to hang out with Laura's husband Kris - he was exactly my pace and helped keep me going strong. I opted to skip the post-ride margaritas at Nuevo Leon - take that Tim! (Granted, I did indulge in a huge breakfast there - I earned it!)

I won't be able to work out as much this week since I'm traveling for work, then heading to Las Vegas Friday evening. So, it's pretty much an easy week. We'll see how it goes...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Another One Lost...

My previous post got me thinking about some of the artists we like, so I've been surfing some of their websites. I remember REALLY wanting this painting, below, by Erin Cone. She also shows at Wally Workman Gallery. I've liked her stuff for about 5 years now, and I've always wanted something by her. This was my favorite piece by her, ever, but it was $4000. And it's sold. Anyway, I can at least remember it through my blog!
Erin Cone, Receive, 2004

Friday, April 20, 2007

On the Road Again...

Today: Houston (for a 20 minute presentation, then return)
Monday: Houston (10:00am meeting, then return)
Tuesday: San Antonio (1:00 continuing education class that I am teaching)
Wednesday: Houston (9:00am for a continuing education class.)

This is wearing me out just thinking of all the time on my butt in my car.

Tim pointed out last night that I can't really go 5 minutes with talking to someone, so... I welcome your text messages, calls, etc... Really, I need something to look forward to!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wednesday at the Veloway

Leslie rode her first loop around the Veloway tonight, and she did awesome. She's riding my old pink bike, and I asked her to meet me so I could ride with her in an attempt to build her confidence before her first Iron Chicks workout tomorrow. I think she is still nervous, but she caught on really quick and I was impressed that she made it around 3 times!

I'm very happy for her - she's going to be flying before we know it.

It was also so much fun to ride with Lulu. I think we are going to make a weekly riding date on Wednesdays - it seems to be the only time I get to really see her. She helped me out during one of our laps (thank you! :)), we compared stories about how dorky we are, and we tried to outride some dude on his mountain bike (thus causing me almost to ride off the road on the steep uphill part.) Very fun!

Tonight I realized how many girlfriends I have. As I told Lulu this afternoon, I'm used to being friends with a lot of guys. But I'm pleasantly surprised at the fact that I think the scales have tipped. I think it's a sign of maturity when I no longer feel competitive with other women, and instead support them and want to befriend them.

(Don't worry, Tim, no female could ever replace you!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Art Purchases = Success!

It was a little nerve wracking this weekend buying art without Phil there. But, I bought what I liked anyway, and I walked away with 6 new paintings...

I really love each piece that I bought. And luckily for me, Phil loves them too! As soon as we walked in the door, he wanted to see the new stuff... and he agreed that all of it was awesome. Score!! It's one thing to buy something I know that I love, but having Phil agree made it that much better.

The artists I bought from this year were: Diane Culhane, Jill Mayberg & Amanda Blake. I already had a piece from Amanda, and 2 from Jill, but Diane was a new find this year. Phil really loved the paintings I got from her.

I really liked Diane, and I offered her our house to stay in if she comes back next year. For me, it's not only about loving the piece of art, but loving the artist too.

Wiley took 2 pictures of pieces that I really liked, but didn't get. The girl in the boat is a Jill Mayberg, and the houses are by Diane.

Now comes one of the best parts of buying art - finding places for our new pieces to live.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Art Festival '07

I had the BEST time at the art festival this weekend. I could go on and on and one with how much I loved it, but I'll just share the highlights:
  • Katie & I went early Friday night to sneak peak at the artists. Unfortunately, the weather was so bad that no one was really setting up. In fact, throughout the night - entire tents were blown away. :(
  • Because of the weather, the festival opened an hour later. So, I got an extra hour of browsing before the gates opened on Saturday.
  • Wiley was my partner in crime on Saturday- I had a blast hanging out with him. We created secret codes for the artwork. He helped me pick out some awesome pieces.
  • Meeting up with Kenny & Heather later in the day and insisting on calling them "commoners" since they didn't have special Alliance badges.
  • When I woke up this morning, I loved the stuff I bought even more. Definitely a good sign.
  • Free frozen mojitos today.
  • Dancing at the main stage with Pat & Vanessa (Terry's family)
  • Getting to know a few artists better. I think one of them might stay at my house next year.

I had a fantastic weekend. I'm so glad I got to share it with so many friends, too. I'm glad I got to hang out with Wiley so much. I got to see Katie 3 days in a row - rockin! I got 6 great pieces!

And, I was reminded of how much I miss Phil. I really wish he had been there today. I hope Boston and Art Fest don't conflict again next year.

Anyway, I can't WAIT until Art Festival 08! :)

Week 14 Workouts

Total Run: 10.5 miles / 2 times (Goal = 20 miles)
Total Bike: 65 miles / 3 times (Goal = 85 miles)
Total Swim: 2200 meters / 1 time (Goal = 2 times)
Total Gym/Core Classes: 4 times

I started the week out just great... but by after back to back quality workouts on Wednesday, followed by 300 mountain climbers at core class, I was hurting bad.

I was going to take Thursday off, but ended up doing my long ride and getting 40 miles in instead.

By Friday morning, I could barely walk. My calves were killing me.

So I essentially took the weekend off. I tried to go to a spin class today, but I had to leave after 20 minutes because my calves were still sore. (That, and the class was really lame.) So, with the exception of going to the gym Friday afternoon and today, I did nothing! 3 days off in a row, with one more to go tomorrow.

Oh well, what can I do, really. I admit - I'm not really minding the rest!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Nothing is Ever Perfect...

I sent Glenda a text message this morning telling her to have a great flight to Boston. Twenty minutes later, she called and said that her flight was cancelled. Now she won't get in to Boston until midnight tonight, at the earliest. With the storms last night, all of the flights were cancelled and/or rescheduled.

Add this stress to the fear of a huge storm on the day of the Boston Marathon.

Add that to not having running water because workers decided to work on the water lines on her block at least until midnight last night.

I can't help but think, "Poor Glenda!"

That being said, I know that if anyone can persevere through these roadblocks and still pull a great marathon - it will be Glenda.

Good luck, girl. You're going to be fine, I promise.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

"Do you ever work out?"

Can you believe it... someone actually asked me, "Do you ever work out?"

Granted, he's only met me 3 times. All three times, he was either in the middle of his workout or had just finished, and I was looking spiff and clean in my work clothes. But, still... what a question!

I have a better question - "Do you ever NOT work out?"

Well, uh, hmmm. No. I mean, I try not to! Really, I try! But, lately it just doesn't work that way.

Did anyone hear me say that the period from Tuesday morning post swim to Wednesday evening was going to be my off time? Really? Well, that lasted until Tuesday night when I got the brilliant idea to do my quality run workout on Wednesday morning.

And, as if that wasn't enough - I convinced Lulu to do the quality bike ride with me that afternoon. As of 5:00pm - I had 5.5 miles running and 20 miles biking under my belt. Hard quality miles, mind you. So then what do I do? I call Stephanie to see if she wants to go to J&A's core class with me. Yes, you read that right. Two hard workouts were not enough. I had to do another one.

Let me just say that it was really pointless for me to go to Core. I mainly laid on my mat exhausted, and embarrassed that I couldn't raise my legs up 6" for more than 10 seconds at a time. When we did 300 mountain climbers, I probably completed 1/3. The rest of the time I stood back and watched everyone else and felt really lame for stopping.

The point is that even though I meant to take it easy for 36 hours - I ended up doing 3 hard workouts. I think it's official, people. I am nutso.

Well, it's okay, I think... Thursday is really going to be my off day. I mean, I have to go to San Antonio, and I have a very early morning meeting. So, no swim class. No bike workout. Just rest.

Wait, no San Antonio? Really, I can stay in the office, get a ton of work done, and be able to do a long ride after work?

What can I say. No, I don't ever work out.

Well, maybe a little.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Thought for a Tuesday

My first conscious thought this morning was: "Why does it take me so damn long to get ready?!" I wanted to be at swim class at 5:30. It takes me 15 minutes to drive there, so I figured I would need about 5 minutes to get up, put in contacts, put on swimsuit, grab packed bag and car keys, and head out the door. But no, it took me almost 20 minutes. I have no idea what I did for 20 minutes. But as I looked at the clock that read 5:20, I was somewhat dumbfounded.

After practice, I took a shower at Courtyard. I was by far the last one out of the shower, and I didn't even shave this morning. Who are these super people who can shower in mere minutes. And why does it take me three times as long? Honestly, there was no way I could have cut it shorter this morning.

I managed to arrive home around 7:15am to put on work clothes, grab breakfast, and head out. This took me 50 minutes. I don't get it.

What is wrong with me?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Week 13 Workouts

Total Run: 18.5 miles / 4 times (Goal = 17 miles)
Total Bike: 80 miles / 3 times (Goal = 80 miles)
Total Swim: 2100 meters / 2 times (Goal = 2 times)
Total Gym/Core Classes: 3 times

I FINALLY did it! I made my goal miles! I'm quite pleased.

I almost fell short, thinking I would take today off instead of doing anything. But Claire called, and we ended up doing an easy 15 on the Veloway, thus getting my bike miles up to 80 for the week. (Yes, it was still very cold out.)

Panther redid my plan so that I'm doing one last "Base Phase" cycle before I start "building." I need to refocus on my running, and get my mileage up to 20+ miles per week.

I should also probably figure out what I'm training for next. Hmmm...

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Peel the Banana 2007

So.. it's official. Tim & I are in a contest to see who can lose the most body fat by July. If you are an avid reader of my blog, you will know that my new years resolution is to be able to race this summer in tri shorts and a jog bra. Tim's goal is to get back into "training shape" and recover from his knee injury.

We decided to start a blog about our journey, and Kenny has stepped up to officiate. At first, I didn't want to share the blog because, well, having people read you whine about your fat is never fun. But, what the hell. I talk about it enough, so I might as well let you read about it if you want. And Tim thinks our blog is "Solid Gold, Baby! Solid Gold!" So, please post nice comments on it. If I am going to make it public, I at least want some positive feedback!

And... it's on. The much needed "PEEL THE BANANA CONTEST 2007!"
A "before" picture taken after dinner last night. By the way, do we look related or what? We even dress alike!

I'm So Glad It Rained!

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (!!!!!) glad that I woke up to a cold, overcast morning. I was supposed to go camping in Kerrville for the Hill Country Easter Rides, but I ended up staying home. I missed hanging out with Maggie, Joey & Rachel, as well as some beautiful riding on Friday; but I think it worked out well seeing what the weather did.

Which brings me to my awesome workout this morning. Had the weather been okay, we were going to do 2 bike loops of the Mopac/SW Parkway/71/ Bee Caves loop, then run 3 miles. But to be honest, I was more excited about the alternate plan Kris & I came up with for a gym brick. Per Kris's email:

1) Meet at Lifetime at 8 a.m., get our stuff into lockers, etc.
2) Head up to the spin studio by 8:15, start riding, that should get us close to 10 miles before class starts (assuming Panther's calcs. are correct)
3) Do 8:45 spin class
4) Keep spinning 'til the next class starts at 10
5) Do 10:00 spin class (we should be at 50 miles by the time we finish)
6) Get on the treadmills for 3 miles
7) If we're still standing, swim (gameday decision here, obviously!)

So... we did EXACTLY this, and it was an amazing workout. 50 mile bike (2 hard spin classes, plus extra), 3 mile run, 500 meter swim. About 3.5 hours when all is said & done. And I'm actually not even tired... I think it was the perfect workout. And since we were riding and running in place, I was able to keep up with Kris. :)

Once again, I must say that Lifetime Fitness is amazing. During spinning, we watched videos of the Tour de France on large screens. How motivating to "ride with" the world's top cyclists.

So now I am enjoying the rainy day.. spending time with Phil before he heads off to Boston later this week... and watching the US Open Cycling Championships.

Perfect rainy day!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Freaked out for Nothing...

I thought I might be in trouble today when I woke up and could hardly swing my legs over the bed. I went to Adam's core class last night, and even though it was really short - what we did do was pretty damn hard.

Plank Pose- 4 minutes
Leg Lifts 6" & Scissor Kicks - 500!!
Pushups - 15 sets from 1 to 15 (normal grip, wide grip, triangle grip)
Plank Pose - ? minutes

Short, but painful. I can't believe we did 500 scissor kicks. Well, I did about 300 probably since I rested a lot. But needless to say, my hip flexors are so sore. After class, I met up with Camp Punishment for happy hour. I was a good girl and went home early so I could get some sleep.

This morning, I went to swimming and had a great workout. We alternated kicking and pulling and it was relatively easy. I was nervous about the hard kicking knowing that I had Mesa hill repeats on the bike tonight, but I figured I might as well give it my all since I was there.

Throughout the day, the thought of climbing Mesa really started freaking me out. I was cursing myself for doing core yesterday and not being able to swing my legs. Then I was nervous about even making the workout since there was so much traffic. Luckily, I took a back way and made it on time.

Fast forward to me standing atop of Mesa with the group. Half the group, all of who had done Mesa before, left and zipped down the hill. This left just a few of us getting instruction from Panther, and I really started freaking out. I was shaking and my palms were sweaty. I didn't think I'd be be able to make it up the hill without falling off my bike. Look at the graph below... see what I mean?
But, what do you know... I made it! Almost three times! (I only went 3/4 down the last time.) The hill actually wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be, and if I do say so - I really enjoyed the workout. Well, I enjoyed it once I finally stopped being freaked out. In fact, I can't wait to go back!

BTW, I am not sure I could have done it without Laura & Kris supporting me... I was so thankful they were there. Every time I saw them I felt more reassured. And Kris, well - she is a machine. I think she could have repeated Mesa about ten times no problem. I can't wait to catch her!

Great workouts today - I'm very proud of myself.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pub Run Pictures

A little late, but better than never. (Thanks, Michelle!)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Erin's Off Day = Quality Run Workout. Doh.

My "off day" started out well & good. I had already cancelled a scheduled 6:00am swim at Stacy Pool with Julie and instead made breakfast plans with Glenda and Michelle. When I woke up with 20 minutes until our meeting time, I was reassured that I made the right decision to take the day off. Obviously, I was tired. (By the way, breakfast was far more enjoyable than swimming. Duh.)

But, once in the office, it only took two emails to convince me to do my run workout tonight instead of tomorrow. Boy am I sucker.

But I'm glad I did. We did 3 sets of 1-2-3's. 100m on, 100m off; 200m on, 200m off; 300m on, 300m off; repeat three times. This was a relatively easy workout, since the distances were short. (That was the goal, since I raced on Sunday.) After doing the directed 2 sets, Lulu convinced me to do one more and I kept up with her for the first two parts. She dusted me during the last hard 300, but I didn't really care - I was surprised she hadn't left me sooner.

For some reason, I thought it was a good idea to run alongside Lulu, Triscuit (& Karma) and Panther on the way back to Runtex. Their easy pace was my "crap, i'm getting side-stiches on both sides and i can't talk!" pace. But hell, I still kept up with them, even if it was just a 1.5 mile cooldown.

I must thank Lulu for getting me to do the third set. She said, "C'mon. Do you want to get faster or what?" Being that she is my workout twin, albeit the much faster and more talented twin, she knew exactly what to say to get me to do more. Thanks, Lulu!

The Mike Cheer Squad was a nice treat as I made my way around the track. And of course the post-workout parking lot happy hour was fun. No big rants or upsets, probably because we all left by 8:00.

Even though I probably could have rested, I'm really glad I went tonight. I actually felt amazingly good, and I loved hanging out with the group. Tomorrow morning though....seriously, I'm sleeping in!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Go See This!!

Why do I feel the need to be ambassador for all things I like? Hmmm... probably a really long blog post for another day.

Meanwhile, check out this show at the Arthouse. It's free, it's interesting, it's entertaining, and the 5 minute cartoon in the back of the center is hilarious. Per the website: David Shrigley and Chris Shepherd explore the darker recesses of the human psyche using simple pen lines to illustrate a sordid and hilarious tale of a lost soul in search of his identity.

Seriously, check it out..

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Spenco Olympic Tri Report

Many of my friends were leaving town this weekend to race at various events in Galveston or Dallas. When I found out there was a triathlon near town, at a venue I was very familiar with, with both sprint and olympic distances - I was thrilled. Perfect opportunity to do a "tune-up" race without a lot of pressure. I somehow convinced Stephanie to come with me... after a weeks worth of "discussion" about which distances we would do, she finally convinced me to do the longer race and she would do the shorter one. Yes, I know. Awfully convenient for her, huh?

Anyway, I checked out some of the competitors on the participant list and learned almost all of them usually won their age groups, if not the whole race, when they competed. At first I was discouraged, but instead I focused on the fact that I wasn't racing - just tuning up and getting back into the game.

On Saturday, Panther gave me my race plan: Go easy on the swim, take the first bike loop moderate, pick it up for the second bike loop, then gut out the run and don't walk.

Stephanie & I arrived at the Ski Ranch at 6:30, and we were set up by 7:00. Glenda arrived a few minutes later to offer support. (She was amazing today!) She helped me get spray Pam cooking spray on myself and put on my wetsuit. Then she shot this picture of Stephanie and me in front of the lake. Notice the "No Swimming" sign - very encouraging!
So, according to the race plan - I was to take the swim easy. I maybe took it too easy, because I never felt tired during this section. 1500 meters = 29:20 (1:57 pace)Since this was a tune-up race, I took my time in transition and was pleased to see Stephanie staged right next to me. (She finished her 400 meter swim just a minute before I came out of the water.) I got ready and headed out on the bike. I took the first loop pretty easy, then tried to pick it up on the second loop. The course was much hillier than I expected, but luckily there wasn't much wind. I felt really great on the bike, and actually was a bit worried when by mile 20, I wasn't even tired. I think I should have pushed more here, but I was nervous about blowing up on the run. After seeing my times, I know I could have done better. (In fact, I "found" harder gears at the end of the ride that I should have been using for the first sections.)But hell, I had fun while biking! I didn't get the usual "get me off of this thing" feeling I used to have during races. 25 miles = 1:26:04 (17.4mph pace)
When I was done with the bike section, I came into transition while Glenda cheered me on. She then ran with me a bit, almost out of the ranch. I somewhat wished she had kept going, because the extra support would have been nice. (But pacers weren't allowed anyway.) The run course was really long. I mean realllllllly long. It was an out and back road with rolling hills (Kris's favorite!) with an extra long out and back on one of the side streets. I knew from my Prarieman experience that I couldn't stop and walk or it would be over, so I just kept a steady (albeit slow) pace and never stopped. It was hard out there - hot, barren, lonely - but I kept going. It's amazing how much more mental tenacity I have over last year. I may have been able to run faster, but at the time I was happy just to be running (versus walking.)
I saw Glenda again on my way back into the Ski Ranch, and she helped motivate me as I ran my last 1/4 mile in. 10K = 1:06:21, or 10:42 pace. Final time: 3:04:57
From my performance today, I am very pleased with:
  • I am still extremely comfortable doing open water swim, and I could probably take on any distance and feel fine. (May not be really fast, but I'll always be easily in the middle of the pack.)
  • I didn't stop during the run section. (I'm not counting the cumulative 10 seconds I used at waterstops.) Even though I ran slow, I ran consistently and didn't give in to my desire to walk.
  • My upper body feels really strong compared to last year- I could definitely feel it during the hill sections of the bike.
  • I followed Panther's race plan perfectly. This race was merely a tune-up to get me back in triathlon mindset, and I was able to turn it into the perfect workout based on his feedback.

And yet, there is much room for growth:

  • I really need to learn how to ride hills on my bike. I'm going to really start pushing the bike speed so I can get faster.
  • I must do more bricks (combinations of 2 sports) so I can feel better on the run.
  • I need to work on the run . I was embarrassingly slow today...I should be better than this.
  • Nutrition. Wow, I sucked at this. I didn't drink any water during the entire bike ride, and I know I didn't eat enough either. Also, I need to really focus on my total nutrition... I got out of the habit and need to get back in.
Anyway... this was a really fun day. I'm so glad to have an Olympic Tri under my belt already this season. I'm also really lucky that I got to share it with Glenda & Stephanie. Oh, one more thing - I won third in my age group! Granted, there were three of us only, but I have a medal to show for it. And... I wasn't last!

Panerin No More...

So... did you know I love Panera? Shocker, I know.

I just wanted to officially thank Wiley for taking over my Panera obsession. Now that I'm assured he is keeping them in business, I have moved on to another restaurant. It's awesome, so I want to promote it:

Sarah's Mediterranean Grill & Market
Located on Burnet Road, between Hancock & 2222 on the west side

It's delicious, I tell you. I get the Veggie Falafel Plate with hummus, taboli, salad & pita for just $4.95.

Check it out! And I'm sure I'll return to Panera again soon...

Week 12 Workouts

EASY WEEK! EASY WEEK!! Can you tell I was stoked about an EASY WEEK!?

Total Run: 21.5 miles / 4 times
Total Bike: 35miles / 2 times
Total Swim: 1500 meters / 1 time
Total Gym: 1 time
Days Off: 3- a record!

This was the last of three 4-week cycles of "Base Phase" in which my goals were to work on my physical strength, mental focus, and skills, as well as add mileage. Based on my "test" triathlon today, I think base phase was successful. I made a lot of strides on all four of those things; details to come in my race report.

So, here are my YTD workout totals:

Total Run: 202 miles
Total Bike: 680miles
Total Swim: 30 miles
Total Gym: 32 times

Next phase: Build!