Monday, May 28, 2007
When we were in college, her boyfriend (now husband) Tal gave her a picture of a golden retriever puppy with a note that said "I O U 1" She has kept that note, framed, in her bedroom ever since. She's been patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) waiting and waiting for the chance to get Sprinter. A combination of events, including a huge promotion that will take Jenna and Tal from LA to Atlanta, have allowed them to finally bring Sprinter home.
Congratulations, Nudelmans! I hope Sprinter, Olive & Violet can meet sometime soon!
Sunday, May 27, 2007
- Pianist on Broadway, probably for Phantom of the Opera
- Shamu Trainer at Seaworld
- Curator or Marketing Director at the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art)
The museum's purpose statement reads: The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA) is the world's only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms.
I love it! Check out a few of my favorites from the collection:
Sunday on the Pot With George
Acrylic on canvas by Unknown
22" x 37"
Donated by Jim Schulman
Can the swirling steam melt away the huge weight of George's corporate responsibilities? This pointillist piece is curious for meticulous attention to fine detail, such as the stitching around the edge of the towel, in contrast to the almost careless disregard for the subject's feet.
In the Cat's Mouth
Acrylic on canvas, probably by Pangorda
Acquired by Tom Stankowicz from the Children's Hospital Thrift Store
A comment on issues of power as experienced by those who dwell with feline pets. Is the artist consumed with or consumed by his love for this cat? Does he identify with the personality of the startling animal? Does the similarity between these inseparable cohabitants stop short at the nose? Or is he simply trying to observe a tree-lined avenue through a cat's eyes?
Love Is Being Out On a Limb Together
Oil on board by Unknown
21" x 24.5"
Japanese in its simplicity. American in its text. This valentine in blue hangs in MOBA as a tribute to the poster poems of the seventies.
Alone time I got - Phil decided to head to Cozumel until Wednesday evening. He got the opportunity to join some friends on a dive trip, so he left early yesterday morning. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. I get the house to myself, and he gets a much needed vacation.
Yesterday morning I figured I would sleep in since I didn't get much rest Thursday night. Of course, that lasted for all of 10 minutes before I packed my bike to go ride & run with my group. I'm glad I did, otherwise I would have felt guilty and angry for the rest of the day. I spent the rest of the day going to breakfast, swimming, hanging out with Maggie, Katie & Glenda, celebrating Wiley's birthday, playing with the dogs and finishing up the crossword puzzles. It was very relaxing- just what I needed.
I was going to run the Run for the Rovers 5K this morning, but woke up feeling less than stellar and decided to bag it. Instead, after some much needed motivation from Maggie, I went to Town Lake and ran the 4 mile loop to get the rest of my mileage in for the week. Turned out to be a great run (usually is!) and I was very glad I did it. When I came home, Olive & Violet gave me such a jealous/pleading look that I decided to take them for a long walk. Ironically, being that I skipped the dog 5K this morning, I ended up running the neighborhood with them. This was quite possibly one of the most interesting runs I've ever done, trying to get two puppies to run close to me, not run into the street, not stop and smell the smells, and not chase other dogs. My arms are more tired than my legs.
So now I'm just back home, relaxing, enjoying not having to be anywhere. I think I wore the dogs out, for they are both sound asleep near my feet. I think I'll follow their lead soon and take a nap too. I miss Phil, but I'm liking the single thing this weekend.
Friday, May 25, 2007
The study is funded by RedBull. They are testing some new type of energy drink. The goal is to go a certain kJ (output) in one hour at 70% effort based on your VO2max. If I were to pedal 90rpm for 1 hour straight, I would reach the goal. For me, 70% effort is about 140 watts.
First they took my blood pressure (110 over 70, I think), my resting heart rate (41bpm), and weight (133). All good readings. Then, I got on the bike and started pedaling. I knew it was trouble when I was only going at 60 watts on my warmup and having a hard time. I ended up doing an average of 80rpm, and finishing in over an hour ten minutes. Not stellar, but I was taking it somewhat easy. I mean, it was just the practice ride! :) I must say that going at a consistent effort is much harder than riding loops on the Veloway and coasting during some of the fast parts.
Anyway, I was very glad not to have to go for 2, 3 or 4 hours like previous studies. One hour and change was just perfect. A great way to get in some mileage!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
June 5-6: Houston
June 9-10: Dallas
June 12-13: Houston
June 14-15: Scottsdale
June 19-20: Houston
June 26-28: Houston
Now the trick is going to be not drinking too much (these trips inevitably equal happy hours), eating too many muffins at the bakery in La Grange, getting my workouts in, and most importantly - reminding Phil and dogs who I am. :)
I know that Kris & Panther & others relate to this type of travel schedule. And I'm pretty much used to it, too, though putting it all out on a calendar is a bit overwhelming.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Uh, yeah. Oops!
I have a tough job, really. I took some people to lunch. Then I took cupcakes and brownies to people. Then I took another client to happy hour. Today I'm doing a breakfast, a morning coffee break, and another lunch. Then I drive home. During the drive, I will probably talk to Tim most of the time. And catch up with my mom. And listen to 93Q - my favorite Houston radio station. Like I said, it's tough.
I had dinner with Panther last night, and we were contemplating why we both like coming here. Granted, it's hard going when we have to leave Austin, but by the time each of us are here - we really like it. When we go into our respective offices, it's almost as if we are treated like a celebrity. "Hey, Erin! How are you!? How are things? What's new in Austin? Talk to us! You should come here more. Sure you don't want to move here?!" Not a bad feeling to have at work.
And there is the fun of exploring a different city, finding new restaurants, running on different trails, having someone else make the bed, getting the paper delivered to the front door in the morning. There's the fun of trying to make coffee in the tiny little coffee pots in the bathroom. (Yes, I'm a dork, I know it...) Getting a bagel from Einsteins and reading the free USA Today. Seeing business contacts and colleagues who are more like out-of-town friends.
My trips kind of sound like vacation, right? Now if I could find a way to expense a massage, I might have a problem calling my trips to Houston business trips.
But what's the best part of my trips? Knowing I get to come back to Austin. I'm so lucky that Austin = home.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Total Bike: 85 miles / 4.5 times
Total Swim: 4 miles / 3 times
Total Gym Workouts: 2 times
Met my mileage goals again, though I wish I had ridden my bike a bit more. My wrists and now my knee are really hurting from the bike, so I'm going to take it in to get refit. My biggest accomplishment was feeling comfortable in my aerobars - now I'm not sure why I was scared of them. :)
I managed 3 brick workouts this week, even though today's brick was only a .5 mile run. (Hence the 3.5 times running.) My Saturday brick was awesome - I ended up doing a 2/16/3/10 workout (run 2, bike 16, run 3, bike 10) thanks to suckering Diana into riding with me after our official workout was over. The best part of that workout was second 8 mile loop of the 16 miles - we were supposed to go near race pace, and I managed to keep Glenda in site the whole time. I only finished about 30 seconds behind her, which was quite an accomplishment for me.
I'm very excited that the upcoming week is a recovery week, meaning I only have to do 2/3 of the usual mileage. (15 miles running, 60 miles biking) I'll be in Houston Tuesday -Wednesday and San Antonio on Thursday, so I'm about to figure out how to fit everything in. I also have the first ride of the bike study on Friday morning.
Good week! Now on to recovery!
Friday, May 18, 2007
Max HR: 164
Max HR: not taken
Max HR: 162
I have gone up 7 points!!!!!!! In fact, I was told I could probably have done even better had my legs not been fried from the Mesa Hill bike repeats yesterday. Regardless, I'm so excited. It's so great to see that my efforts are paying off.
Also, because I've been doing these studies, I've been getting to see a lot about how my body works. Crazy stuff, like how it utilizes protein, what my glucose levels are, etc... I saw the results of my muscle biopsies today and they were very interesting, at least the parts I understood. I love being a part-time lab rat! And to think I get paid to do this!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
To make sure I didn't cheat and go to the gym, I booked my day solid. Slept in a bit (thankfully, since happy hour lasted until after 11:00pm last night) and met Amy at Galaxy Cafe for breakfast. Worked until 11:00, when I left to attend an association luncheon. Had a meeting at 1:30, then made a special trip to Tim's apartment to see how he was doing. Made it to Panera at 4:30 to pick up food for 25 people, set up dinner for a training class, had a quick happy hour at 6:00, back to the class to pick up remnants, then dinner with Phil. Busy day!
I saw Tim today!!! It was so good to see him, and he was walking around and seemed in good spirits. He's not blogging much because he is still depressed about the scenario, but I see progress. He is learning how to swim from Holly, and I think this will be a really good thing for him.
While in Tim & Kenny's apartment, I saw 2 birds. Yes, 2 birds - both emerging from their closet. One of them took a swan dive into the fresh bowl of popcorn Kenny had just popped. Very strange.
So, it's 9:30pm and I made it without working out. Not as hard as I thought it would be. In fact, I can see how easy it would be to get of the habit. Which is precisely why I will be up tomorrow morning at 5:00am to go to swimming.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
First, my right wrist hurts. I think it's from riding in my aerobars so much yesterday - I haven't quite figured out correct positioning. (Further proof is the blister on the side of my hand.) So, incorrect positioning, coupled with doing lots of pulling with paddles during swimming, has made it painful to move my right hand.
This morning, trying to balance my coffee (in my right hand of course. I'm brilliant, I tell you) with 5 bags strapped on my shoulders, from the kitchen to the car was interesting. Which brings me to my next description - I am a bag lady! This morning, I counted 8 bags in my car:
- Duffel Bag for tonight's run + change of clothes
- Gym Bag
- Laptop Case #1
- Laptop Case #2
- Rogue Bag from duathlon program with bike gear
- Mesh Bag with swim gear
- Bag of Snacks/food for the day. (Today, it is yogurt, fruit, and a sliced yellow bell pepper. in ziploc bag.)
I often joke that I could live out of my car. Hell, I should be able to with all of this stuff!!
Monday, May 14, 2007
But, at the same time, keeping a blog about it allows me to process this journey.
Meredith gave me some really great feedback today which I very much appreciated:
"The other reason I love your peeling the banana blog is because so many are in your position, but just don't open up about it. I think the fact that you are open about it will only help you!"
I sure hope it will help me! Today, Banana joined the contest. If anyone else wants in, let me know... hopefully it will help you too. :)
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Total Bike: 123 miles / 3 times
Total Swim: 5150 meters / 3 times
Total Gym Workouts: 2 times
Total Hours: About 15?
Good week - reached all my goals. The big milestone was the 80 mile ride yesterday - my longest ride to date, and it was a blast.
I had 2 good swim workouts, which was nice since I've been struggling a bit with swimming lately. I am absolutely NOT a sprint swimmer, rather I do much better at endurance events. Which is fine for triathlons, luckily.
My quality run on Tuesday was pretty hard. We were supposed to do 8-10 400's at 5K pace with 200 meter recoveries. I did 9, and about passed out at the end. My times got slower each set, until the last 2 when I picked it back up. It's going to be hard to adjust to running in the heat again.
Finished the week with a great run/swim with Katie & Kris at Stacy Pool. PERFECT way to end the week, and we even got to check out some hot triathlete swimming. :)
I'm in town this week, but out of town next week. I'm supposed to focus on more consistency, so I'll have to figure out how I'm going to make that happen in Houston & San Antonio.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
At the 42 mile rest stop, all that was left was Kris, Lulu, me, Tim, Justin & Panther. Here are the guys. Notice the amount of space between them.
Here is the remaining group at mile 71. I think we all look pretty good considering all of us but Panther were ready to never look at our bikes again. This was after some intense hills. (One of which I fell down on. For some reason, my legs decided they didn't want to move anymore and down I went.)
Lulu & I decided to keep going once we finished so that we would make 80 miles (versus 78). Here is us at the end. Don't feel too bad, we had just chowed down on peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. And luckily Panther had given us a reprieve from running 2 miles after the ride.
I had a great time today. It was rough, but not unmanageable. The company was great, especially my S.L.O.W. girls. I did quite a bit of the ride in my aerobars, which showed some serious progress on my part. Songs were song, new nicknames were created, and a new mileage distance was set. Great morning!
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Today, I felt very touched by my friends who are always rooting for me. Thanks, Katie, for the awesome email I received this morning. You were very insightful and supportive. Thanks Stephanie for your comment on my contest blog, I really appreciated it. Thanks Mike (my coworker) who helped me sort out why I am the way I am about certain things. Thanks Glenda, who is always cheering for me and supporting me. (especially tonight when I looked like death on the track!) Thanks Maggie for calling and checking up on me.
Thanks to all my friends for always being there for me, especially when I am not even asking. I hope I do the same for you.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Seriously. Same shirt, same color shorts...
Not that this, uh, happened. But, if it did, I may have turned beet red and spent the rest of my gym time trying to cover my shirt so we didn't look completely ridiculous.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Total Bike: 52 miles / 2 times (Goal = ? miles)
Total Swim: 2800 meters / 1 time (Goal = 2 times)
Total Gym/Core Workout: 3 times
Yet another slow week for me. I was really unmotivated, but not in a way that I'm actually upset about. I've been working hard, and I needed a break. I also was, obviously, traveling a ton. So... whatever, I still worked out 9 times and when you look at it like that, that is still a lot!
My favorite workout was my bike ride with Glenda today. We rode 35 miles, mainly along Parmer, and we did pretty darn good considering how windy it was. I opted to skip my group ride and instead ride with Glenda because 1) the group ride was at 2:00pm and would have eaten my day, and 2) I hadn't seen Glenda in what seemed like forever. It was great to see her.
I'm in town this week, so I will be at the workouts and am looking forward to coming back refreshed!
Friday, May 04, 2007
1) I admit it. I like Houston. A lot. Crap.
2) I am very impressed with how well I know Houston, and how well I can navigate around now. I don't even print out maps anymore, which is a big change from this time last year.
3) I have had some great meals this trip, and 2 Jamba Juice smoothies. Yum, yum, yum. I also have a new found love for the mojito. I realize I'm a little late to the trend, but I really like them and am making them my drink of choice.
4) I could do the I10/71 drive in my sleep. During my drive back, I really concentrated on the landmarks along the way, and I thought that I would share. (Because I'm sure you are really curious what my drives are like. Well, everyone except for Tim & Maggie, who I talked to for half of the drive.) For this post, I will list the highlights from just past La Grange to the first stoplight in Bastrop.
- Longhorn Frog Ranch. (Is this not the strangest name for a ranch?!)
- Diamond Shamrock. (This place pisses me off. The bathrooms are dirty and they don't have any healthy snacks or flavored water. I find it creepy that people sit and play on the slot machines.)
- The "Broccoli Tree" in the median. (I've always loved this beautiful tree, and just learned of its nickname. It's usually surrounded by wildflowers - very pretty.)
- The "I95 to Flatonia" sign. (Where is Flatonia? Why would anyone want to live in a place with that name?)
- Smithville. The hospital, then 2 Mile Lane, then the Shell station. (Love that Shell station. Their bathroom is very nice, and they are very friendly there. They don't get mad when I stop even if I don't buy anything. Oh, and did you know this is the home of Hope Floats?)
- KLBJ Road. (I don't get this one. It reminds me of a road that Dudley & Bob should live on.)
- Chevron & La Cabana restaurant. (Does anyone else find restaurants attached to gas stations a little bit gross?)
- The Navarro Log Homes. (These are tiny little log cabins on the side of the road. I don't know what their purpose is, but they are pretty cute. Sometimes when I drive by, I want to pull over and take a nap in one.)
- Toad Hollow - Antique Shop/Art Gallery/RV Park. (Need I say more?!)
- Rusted Antique Car Place. (100s of old, rotted cars. Kind of depressing.)
- First stoplight in Bastrop. (I never get a green light here. Never. Ever.)
Oh, another highlight is this billboard for The Colony. It's an old man in a cowboy hat in a swimming pool. Why they think this is good advertising beats me.
So, anyway, another trip to Houston complete! Looking forward to being in Austin for a bit.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
1) I ran around Rice Village & Rice U this morning. I, like most of my friends, have been feeling really unmotivated this week - so I was proud that I went and ran. That being said, I had a cinnamon scone and a chocolate croissant for breakfast, and that did not make for a good run. I almost got sick about 6 times, so my run turned into more of a speed-walking exercise than anything.
2) Speaking of breakfast, some guy was trying to bill breakfast to a non-existent room that his "girlfriend" was staying in. He was arguing with the front desk clerk, and eventually they told him: this room didn't exist, stop trying to make stuff up, pay for your breakfast with cash. How lame! Besides, if you are going to scam breakfast, do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT scam it from the Sheraton Four Points. It sucks. Really. Even the La Quinta breakfast is better.
3) Damn Wiley. Damn him and his stupid "Pasito Tun Tun." Thanks to his cd with 6 different versions, I have had that song stuck in my head for the past day. It made my horrible run this morning ten times more horrible- I can't make it go away. UGH!
4) I went to a fabulous dinner last night with some very well-to-do Houstonians. I am very thankful that my mother taught me good table manners. So, I was a little taken aback when as soon as I sat down, one of the hosts almost spewed bread at me as she talked and put her menu on top of my place setting. I couldn't get to anything because her stuff was on top of mine. Regardless, these people were great, the food was great, desert was great - I had a great time. Also, I love meat-oriented places, because they have the best vegetable plates. Ironic, but true.
5) So, I'm here working at 2 different trade shows/exhibitions. Best pickup line I've received all year: "You know what I like about you, baby?" "Oh? What?" "We are both in the same industry." Ohhhhhh.... very hot!
So... more later... I'm about to spend the next 8 hours hawking restoration... yippee. :)
PS - Happy Birthday, Glenda!
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Anyway, since it's been "blah" since I returned from Las Vegas (which, by the way, was sunny and gorgeous), I have not been particularly motivated to do much of anything. Tonight was the first night that I can remember when I didn't have a workout scheduled, and didn't make a huge effort to do something anyway. Instead, I came home, snacked, did the crossword puzzle, and fell asleep on my couch. Then, I went to Magnolia Cafe with Maggie. We stayed for almost two hours.
Thanks to dinner with Maggie, and a few other events today, I'm looking back at the day fondly. But I am still tired and "blah" feeling. I'm really not even looking forward to getting up and running (with the exception of meeting my buddies.) I'm ready for sun again.
And one more thing - we are in the process of replacing all the windows in our house. So as I type this, I can still feel the mugginess from outside since our windows aren't sealed, and we don't have any curtains because they don't fit in the space anymore. Even though I'm inside, I really can't escape this weather!
I'm heading to Houston tomorrow for the rest of the week. Muggy capital of Texas - should be fun!