Sunday, September 23, 2007

Finally calm.

It's no secret that I've been somewhat out of touch lately. Work has been overwhelming. I have worked every week and weekend this month. I have not gone a week without going to Houston in over 5 months. And my primary source of relaxing (training) is done for the year. So, I've been retreating. Trying to destress and relax.

My weekend did not start well. A ton of stress at work, followed by a screaming match with a co-worker, followed by skipping the gym because I didn't want anyone to see me with mascara running down my teary face. Lovely.

Thanks to happy hour (s) and a huge job from one of my accounts on Friday, the weekend was looking better. On Saturday I rode my longest bike ride since July - Scot & I headed from my house down to Buda. I'm amazed at how much fitness I've lost and how hard this ride was. But I loved every minute of it and felt stress leave my body with each mile we rode.

As for the rest of the day (and weekend, largely), Phil & I worked with our accounting consultant to get our RB books in order. This meant entering 3 years of data into quickbooks. I'm proud to say that I got it done! Luckily I am a 10-key whiz! Getting this taken care of helped relieve a lot more stress.

Today, I slept in and then went swimming at Barton Springs. Nothing hard, more just enjoying the water and the people. For the rest of the day, Phil & I headed out on our mountain bikes for Austin Museum Day. We visited the AMOA, Arthouse, Women and Their Work & Umlauf. We were ecstatic to see that Umlauf has a David Everett show going on. We're lucky to own one of his pieces, granted it is the most inexpensive thing he sells. Anyway, it was an awesome surprise and we will definitely be back for more programs there. Then we checked out the SculptFest artists, and (of course) ended up buying 2 new pieces. (I won $200 on Thursday. Though I was going to apply it to my $600 car bill, I said "what the hell" and splurged.)

So... Today was the perfect "Austin" day. Barton Springs, biking, museums, downtown Gold's Gym, the hike & bike trail, running into random people throughout the day and time with the family.

I'm afraid to say it, but for now - the stress is gone. I feel calm for the first time in weeks.

Only 2 more hours until Monday.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I'd like to interrupt...

I'd like to interrupt my afternoon of going through the 163+ emails in my inbox and 15+ "To do by Friday" items in my task list to reflect on my favorite part of this week.

Something about a kayak, Town Lake, a wonderful friend and some Bud Light makes everything seem okay.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Six Days Left!

In more 6 more days, I will have gone exactly 3 months without eating dessert.

That means: No cookies. No icecream. No popsicles. No candy bars. No brownies. No m&ms. Not even wedding cake, and I've been to 3 weddings!

Instead, I have been chowing down on: watermelon, apples, pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, frozen blueberries, bananas, watermelon, frozen bananas, grapes, peaches, watermelon, plums, nectarines, yogurt, and... did I mention watermelon?

And what have I learned? For me, dessert was just a habit. I don't need it. In fact, I much prefer some fresh fruit. (Like watermelon!)

But I have to admit... I'm suddenly getting tempted to eat some of Phil's blue bell icecream...

By the way, I don't think I look any different than I did 3 months ago. Except that I'm working out less - I can tell something there. Anyway, the "no dessert" thing has not actually changed my body one bit.

I mentioned to Phil that maybe next I will try giving up bread for a month. He responded that perhaps I need to find some goals that actually mean something. I think he's probably right.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sweet dreams, Murphy.

Yesterday we said goodbye to Murphy. While technically our neighbor's cat, Murphy lived with us since we moved into our house almost three years ago. She was the most adorable cat I'd ever seen.

In a way, Murphy adopted us. She even made it onto our wedding invitation, along with Karma and Velvet.

I could always count on Murphy to sit meowing at the front porch every morning as I left to go run or swim. And I could count on her to be waiting for us, perched atop Phil's car or our windowsill, when I came home. I was never much of a cat person, but you couldn't help but love Murphy. She had a way of making you come to her and scratch her belly and love on her.

Now she will rest in peace forever under her favorite oak tree, right between us and our next door neighbors. Sweet dreams, old girl.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Who needs a hotel when you can have a CVS?

I got an email from my G.M. this morning about conserving expenses. To quote, he said, "Every time someone needlessly takes advantage of the credit card, it’s money out of our pockets."

So I responded to him about last night's trip to Houston:

As you know, I went to Houston last night for a Casino Night. Luckily I was able to convince one of my closets girlfriends to go with me. We had a blast by the way. After rocking at Casino Night, we hit the Black Swam - a bar at the Omni Hotel. This place was awesome - we danced all night.

Anyway, I want you to know that I successfully avoided a hotel charge last night. I somehow got the BRILLIANT idea to drive back home at 2:15 in the morning. (This was after arriving at the hotel, even.) Guess what: there was freaking TRAFFIC on 290. So after sitting behind a wreck, going about 1 mile total, for 40 minutes, we were on our way back to Austin. Until about 30 minutes later when I realized I was going to fall asleep.

So, I pulled into this random CVS (which was closed), parked in the corner of the lot, and went to sleep. We slept until about 5:45, when I woke up and drove us back home. I imagine if anyone saw us, they would have had quite a sight. Two girls, in cocktail dresses, passed out in a parking lot. (Don't worry, the cars were locked!)

I walked into the office this morning at 7:30am still in my cocktail attire. Black slinky dress, high heels and makeup still on. Lulu, on the other hand, had on boxers and a shirt which at some point she had changed into, I don’t remember when. Uh, yeah. Classy.

Again, the point of my story? No $100+ expense charge from the Sheraton Brookhollow. Which should cover the $101 bar tab from last night.

(Thank god for Lulu, she was awesome. Hopefully once she sobers up, she'll thank me for taking her!)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Houston Bound

Tomorrow I will wake up early and go to the gym.

Then I will go into work for some meetings.

Then I will be at a trade show until 2:00.

Then I will rush home and take Phil to get lasik.

Then I will take Phil home, feed the dogs (there are 4 right now since we are dogsitting), and then...

Head to Houston for a Casino Night. But, am I upset that I have to work tomorrow night?

No... because Lulu is coming with me!!!!!!!!!! We are going to rock Houston, and I am pumped! :)

Guess I should go get some sleep.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Little Bit of Press

It's been a long time since I've worked in PR - so it's rare that I see myself in print. This made a whole page of this week's Austin Business Journal, so I thought I'd share. By the way, I don't look AS goofy in the paper as I do below. It's really annoying that the ABJ cropped my face so closely!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Just what I needed...

I had, er, forgotten that I had promised Lulu I would race the Women's Race with her today. I was almost off the hook, since she thought the race had passed when I was in Dallas. But for some reason, I reminded her it was this weekend, and we signed up.

First let me say, I love Lulu. I really really do. And yet, she had it in her mind that we needed to win this thing. 300 teams, racing through trails, doing crazy obstacles, paddling through a lake, all while carrying a rubber chicken. Sound fun? Hell yeah. Sound like something that we will beat out at least 500 other people at? Well...
We got to the site pretty early, since neither of us bothered to look up the start time. We set up our toobs (thanks Ostrich) in transition and wandered around until near race-start. With 30 minutes to go, we did a little run warmup - which about 7 other teams then copied us at. We had scoped out the other teams, and it seemed like we had some serious competition. Lulu's nerves started up; I, on the other hand, just wanted to go to sleep.

The race starts with a mystery event - after doing a walk for the cancer survivors, we stood around waiting to hear music that would tell us where to go. Our strategy was to position ourselves near the direction we expected the music to come from. Suddenly, we heard "The Eyes of Texas" and we raced through the park to grab our rubber chicken. We had to get ahead of everyone else, otherwise we'd be caught in the bottleneck of completing events and getting through the trail. By the time we'd finished events in one side of the park (2 math questions & passing a burrito from partner to partner with no arms) - we were in 2nd place. We hustled up the trail and then passed the lead team while doing a three legged race. After more running (and far too many hills for my liking), we finally made it back to transition.

We were the first team in the water, lifejackets on and toobs in tow. The goal was to paddle backwards while sitting in our toobs. Unfortunately, I have much shorter (and weaker, apparently) arms than Lulu and did not fair well at this. I managed to lose our lead to a mother/daughter team in an inflatable kayak. Luckily Lulu finished and came back to push me. I admittedly was exhausted at this point, and the fact that we had lost our lead (thanks to me) and still had the third part of the race left was not that motivating.

But I knew Lulu wanted to win. Hell, I didn't want a kid to beat me either, even if she was a badass kid. So I regrouped, and we ran back through transition on to the next few obstacles. First we had to blow up a balloon, carry it between our chests over these inflatable tubes, then pop it. This was easy, and the balloon popped as soon as we let go. Next we had to play croquet with a ball and our rubber chickens. We did great at this and took the lead again. Then we played frolf, but with the chicken versus a disc. By now, we were gaining time but I was getting tired. I honestly haven't been running (much less sprinting) in weeks. Lulu, thank god, took the lead and conquered the next obstacle by successfully throwing our chicken through a hole. After more (uphill) running, we had to handcuff ourselves together and run more. Then we had to carry a ball a short distance in between 2 spoons, not using our fingers.

At this point, we realized that there was a "lead vehicle" (i.e. a guy on a dirt bike) who was OUR lead. Never been in that situation before! We kept running on the trail, and had to run past the group who hadn't completed the first part of the race yet. Two girls were right on my heels, which really pissed me off, until I realized that they hadn't even done the water segment yet. Lulu was ever encouraging, telling me to suck it up, not leave anything out there, and that the second place team was right on our toes. (They weren't, by the way.)

We made it back towards the finish area, and everyone yelled, "here come the leaders." (Again, never had that before!) Unfortunately, one of the volunteers sent Lulu in the wrong direction so she ran to the end of transition before realizing I wasn't behind her. We met up at the final obstacle course and crawled, shimmied, climbed, ducked and crawled again towards the finish. We grabbed hand, ran through the finish, and low & behold - we won!

HELL YEAH!!!! We cheered for the next few teams for a bit, got some water, and headed back to the car to assess the damage. You can see from our clothes below - this was not exactly a clean race!
We ended up with a cool award (below), and each of us got a Nike watch. (And, for some really strange reason, we each got tubes of antiseptic. Not sure what that was about.)
I have obviously been really burned out lately, but this was just what I needed. A short, but extremely fun race that couldn't have gone better. I must say that Lulu & I make a fabulous adventure racing team. We will definitely be back to defend next year. Perhaps I will even train this time!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

For the record...

I ran into Diane on the trail today. We were talking about what's been going on with us lately since we haven't seen each other in months, and about how we are not feeling very motivated to run or work out. I talked about how much I am traveling lately and how draining it is. She responded that I although I seemed happy in some areas of my life, I'm not happy in others.

So... for the record, I am just fine. I am tired. I am unmotivated in some areas. I wish I could teleport to Houston. I wish there was about 4-5 more hours in the day. I wish the laundry would do itself tonight, and I could go to sleep.

But besides all of this rather irrelevant stuff, I am happy.