Wednesday, December 31, 2008
So, I'm ending the year on a positive. Last year at this time, everything was completely up in the air for me. For 2009, I *think* I have a better grasp of what's in store. It'll be fun to look back at this post in a year to see how far things have come.
Thanks for following along this year... it's been a journey, for sure! And with that... from my freshly painted green room... Happy New Year, people. Come on 2009!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
T3's Ironman CdA kickoff meeting is Sunday morning. That means our official training starts Monday. I have seriously forgotten what it takes to be dedicated to something like this.
In review of the past 3 months, what have I accomplished?
- Avoid nearly all T3 workouts since beginning of November? Check!
- Able to count the times I've ridden my bike on one hand? Check!
- Injure myself by trying to run too much, and then not be able to run for a month? Check!
- Eat my weight in peanut butter? Check!
- Outgrow all my workout clothes to the point where I need a "fit" pile and my current "out of shape" pile. Check!
- Whine, bitch, and complain about signing up for Ironman? Check!
- Travel to Arizona to watch a live Ironman so I can see what my future holds.
- Finish getting my house in order so I don't have too many projects once training starts. (This includes: getting a washer & dryer, finish all the painting, hang up all artwork and robot displays, buy any outstanding items like a TV and a coffee table.)
- Plan a nutrition strategy! I just bought a beautiful Foreman 360 so I can make healthy food quickly. Jess is teaching me how to cook. I'm loaded up on vitamins. And... I'm eating meat again. I'm hoping all of this, combined with returning to Mer's eating plan, will do me good!
- Bought new workout clothes. I am pretty stocked up for now. I cannot use "dirty clothes" or "not the right equipment" as an excuse to skip a workout.
- Utilize a free 30-day membership at 24 hour fitness so I could spend about 30 minutes in the pool for the past few weeks to remember what water feels like.
- Two massages down, one per month to come...
- Started attending T3 workouts again. Swim on Sunday & Monday... Spin tonight...Core tomorrow... it's all coming back to me...
The plan is in place. It's time to open my eyes, stop freaking out, and enjoy the ride.
June 21, 2009 will be quite the day. 2009 will be quite the year. Just wait and see.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
BANANA MOCHA BLEND
1 medium banana
3/4 cup low-fat milk (1%)
4 tsp artificial sweetener (such as Equal or Splenda)
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
5 ice cubes (4 - 6)
More info here on Calorie King.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Besides being smart, funny, an awesome athlete, and many many other things.... she is teaching me how to cook! I'm not exactly sure how I got to be the lucky one who benefits from Jess's skills in the kitchen (except perhaps that I asked for help) - but I am loving it!!
Today was our second "lesson." Last time, she perused my kitchen and looked through all the recipes I have pulled over the past few years - recipes that remain unmade, by the way. Today, we went to the grocery store and then made lentil soup. We made enough so I can freeze a bunch and have healthy meals ready to go when I need them. It is so yummy. She also gave me a soup pot and this awesome recipe book she made, complete with plastic inserts and divider tabs. It is so cool!
Thank you so much, Jess!!!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
There are lots of changes in my world. I was thinking this morning that I am returning to age 15. Strange thing to say, but here's why:
First: I AM NO LONGER A VEGETARIAN!
I had not eaten meat - and by meat, I mean nothing that had a face - for over 12 years. TWELVE YEARS. I've been contemplating giving up my veggie ways all year, but could never find the guts to do it. Ultimately, it came down to the question of "why AM I vegetarian, anyway?" Turns out, it was more because it's how I've been for years - i.e. it is my identity - rather than not actually liking meat. It's hard to let go of something you've held on to for 12 years, you know?
Plus, with ironman training coming, eating meat seems like a smart thing to do. So, at a recent happy hour at Union Park, I took the plunge! (Perhaps I should more accurately say someone shoved shrimp tempura in my face.) Man, it was yummy. What have I been missing all these years? :) Anyway, I'm now eating chicken and fish. I can't stomach the idea of a four legged animal yet... but in time...
Second: I BOUGHT MY FIRST TV!!
I'm not kidding. I've never bought my own television before. I had one growing up, thanks to Mom & Dad. I really don't like tv at all, and I haven't missed having one over the past year. But, I will be watching a lot of movies over the next few days - and I figured having something to watch them on would be helpful. (This reminds me of when I was 15 - it took me years to get my first CD player, and I only ended up buying one because the soundtrack I wanted didn't come in a tape.)
I am now the owner of a 32" flat screen. It is sitting all nice and pretty in my loft, just waiting for me to curl up and relax in front of it. For the record, I will not be buying cable. That would be too much.
Third: I am playing piano again!
I finally moved my piano in last month, and it's been so much fun trying to play again. I really need to get it tuned - but until then, that serves as a good excuse for why it sounds so awful! I feel slightly bad for my neighbors, because sometimes I play at 5:30 in the morning when I don't want to go work out. Hopefully the screeching sound doesn't carry...
So, anyway, it has not been since I was 15 that all of these things have come together. I must say I'm excited about all three - they are like three new worlds opening up to me. Good stuff. :)
Friday, December 19, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I was thinking that this cat adopted me. I thought he liked me. However... evidence revealed today leads me to believe that I am wrong. Turns out he likes Kris, who apparently fed him while I was away. Thanks, Kris - I have a cat now! ;)
I originally called him Sushi, the neighbors call him Stinkbug, but Jess coined him Melvin and I think it fits just right. We'll see how long this lasts...
In other news, yes - I do wear my coat inside while I am working. I'm always cold. And no, my nose did not fit into this picture. It is really big. OYE.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I'd only known her for half a year. We met at T3 swim clinic and instantly bonded over being the "Erin's." We swam side by side each other, supported each other and cheered for each other. I got to know her better when she joined full T3 training and we'd spin together or hang out at happy hour.
Erin started the Dallas Marathon yesterday full of hope and excitement - her mind set on qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Unfortunately, she didn't finish.
I'm still in shock. I can't stop thinking about her or her husband. Life can be so great and yet so cruel. I just don't know what to say.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
A few things I've learned and/or reconfirmed lately... I hate being injured. Not being able to work out has sucked. I am addicted to endorphins. Period.
I can't save everyone. Actually, to be more precise - I can't save anyone. And I can't make anyone happy, either. I can only augment other people's happiness. In the end, people have to save themselves.
People really do love me. Loving myself is often not easy, but with people in my life who love me - it's so much easier. For those of you who tried to get me to crawl out of my cave, or just swung by to make sure I was still alive in there, thank you. For those who came and snuck in there with me, thank you too.
I probably sound like a drama queen. But it's my blog and I'll be a drama queen if I want to. At any rate... I'm reemerging feeling very happy and very positive, and I am so excited about the next year. I'm even more excited about right now.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I tried to take a picture of us outside the house tonight while we were walking the dog, but he turned his head. I really like how this picture came out anyway...
Thursday, November 27, 2008
This morning, Dad & I ran the YMCA Turkey Trot. Dad opted for 3 miles and I opted for 8 miles. It has been exactly 5 years since I ran this race. In 2003, I had just started running. I was only 3 months in to Austin Fit and never dreamed I'd be able to run a race not doing the run/walk method.In 2003, it took me 1:25:40 to finish 8 miles. That's 10:42/mile. It was painful. It was horrible. It was also incredibly rewarding, as I knew it was just the start of things to come. My coach Jeff & I ran together... here we are!
Fast forward to 2008. I had no expectations about this race other than it being a supported training run, and surely I could beat 10:42/mile. Armed with some new shoes and a carefree attitude, I am pleased to say I knocked out this race in 1:06:01. That's 8:15/mile. Nearly 2:30/mile faster than 2003 and 20 minutes overall. In the process, I set a new 10K PR - 51:16. Considering my previous PR is 59:28... um, yeah. It wasn't like I was trying to race a 10K either, I was merely trying to pace myself - for once - so I wouldn't blow up at the end - like I always seem to - and maybe have a positive race experience - which was much needed - and get over being so hard on myself about running - etc...
Perhaps I should shut up and just be thankful for running. I'm such a freaking headcase about it, but in the end - I'm so much better than I was when I started. (Really, 5 years ago I could not run one mile.) Now, I actually enjoy it. Most importantly, I'm going to be able to finish that damn marathon at IMCdA!!!
After Thanksgiving dinner (french toast & migas - I love my parents!) I finished the day with a 20 mile bike ride down to White Rock Lake and back. I'm a slowpoke on my bike, thanks to ignoring it for the past month, but today I was just thankful to be out on the trail, enjoy the fall afternoon, and reflect on my life over the past year.
What did I realize? Life is pretty damn good. Everything seems to be coming together just fine, honestly. (Much of it in the past week or so, but I will take it gladly!!!!) I have so much to be thankful for.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Long story short... great trip. I really enjoyed seeing my friends on the course, I got tons of quality time with Mer, and I was so glad to return the favor of playing sherpa. The Ironman is definitely an experience - at one point it was me and 2200 athletes in wet suits and swim caps. (That's what I got for sneaking into places I shouldn't have been.) However, I was not nearly as inspired as I'd hoped I'd be - though happy for my friends and team, I still don't have much, if any, desire to do an Ironman. Hopefully that changes, but for now I'm enjoying some off time. I guess I do have about 7 months to get my head in the game, so I'm not going to stress!
Lastly, I want to say that the past few weeks have been difficult ones for me. I've been retreating and hiding and going "off the grid." It's nothing personal, but it's what I've needed to do to stay sane. (If I could even call it that!) I'm so happy to report that I'm coming out the other side way better than I thought possible.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Here are some of the fun parts of this past week:
- getting sandwiched on I35
- getting pulled over for speeding in a school zone. (10 minutes after the wreck)
- not having enough hot water in my house to get through a shower (bath, technically)
- getting told i don't have rental car insurance, which would mean i have no way to go home for Thanksgiving
- my laptop is corrupted and won't start
So tonight, I decided to tidy some things up and spend time getting my house in order. I spent 2 hours building a coffee table only to turn it over and find a huge, unrepairable dent in the middle. Okay, that can be fixed - return to IKEA! Whatever, 2 hours lost, it's fine. Then... I managed to drop my phone in a big container of liquid. (I'll spare the details... let's just say that it does not work anymore, nor do I want it anywhere near my face even if it did.) Seriously. What is going on?
I'm looking for the positives. Looking really really really really really hard. My IT manager got my computer to work again. Phew. I worked everything out with the car insurance company, and now I am driving a really cool Jeep until my car is repaired. Somehow, the officer who pulled me over took pity on me and did not write me a ticket, even though he originally said it was a no-tolerance school zone policy. My house is much cleaner than it was last weekend. Oh, and the best part - I have had support from people that has gotten me through so much $#}& lately - and I am extremely lucky for them. Really, no clue where I'd be without them.
So... long story short... I'm trying to deal with being tested. In the grand scheme of life, these are all small & insignificant things. But for now, they are really testing my patience! By the way... I have no phone and I'm off the grid until I can fix it - and for reasons I'll explain later, that may be a while.
Reframe... reframe... sigh... reframe...
Here are some of my favorite Magritte paintings.
By the way, this scene in Thomas Crown Affair has to be one of my favorite movie scenes ever. It gives me chills and makes me smile every time I see it. (Nina Simone, who is singing Sinner Man, was the perfect music choice.)
Friday, November 14, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Which is good, because I will be spending a lot of time on it. In other words, I have accepted my "off season." No serious training. No forcing myself to go spin or swim or go to the gym. No forcing myself to run, even... though I plan to stay on top of the little program I've set up for myself.
Granted, this morning I got up to run, got dressed, stepped out the door, made it about three houses down, and came right back home and went to work instead. (At 6:30am, I must be mad!) Which was fine... I thought about running tonight instead, but my couch is just too comfortable. One day Jess is going to teach me how to cook, but until then... I'm thinking kashi, some hot tea and my crossword puzzle. That is how I will enjoy my off season tonight. :)
I got to see my old IronChick girls today... the ones that I trained with for my very first triathlon. Who would have though that I would have been the first to take the Ironman plunge. Wow. It was great to see them. Love those girls. :)
Anyway... off season... Fun! (Feel free to hold me to this... I know I will need some help! But I have a long long LOOOONNNNGGGGG road ahead until IM CdA!) CdA. What a weekend that will be....
Friday, November 07, 2008
This week has been a tug between this:
and back. I'm so tired.
This weekend I am really hoping for some fun time. I'm thinking watching Happy Go Lucky with my girls tonight will be just what I need to start the weekend off right.
By the way, blah-some, or blawesome, is a word I invented to represent the tug between feeling blah and feeling awesome. Good stuff right there!
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
However... I am absolutely glued to my laptop watching Ironman Florida. Every time a press refresh to look for my friends' times, I get so nervous and excited. I can't wait to watch them cross the finish line!!!
(I'm at least leaving my front door open so I get some sense of the outdoors. I am now playing house for 2 bumblebees, some flies, a pesky mosquito. Oh well! Back to Ironman!!!)
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
One of these days, after swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running a marathon - I will hear the words, "Erin - you are an IRONMAN!" Until then, I thought I would share the race report of my friend Maggie, who finished her first Ironman last weekend. She has been one of my greatest inspirations, and I owe a lot of triathlons to her. I am so proud of her.
And two years later, I feel the same way!!! Go Maggie Go!!!! I am SO THERE with you. :)
Her 2006 IMFL Race Report is HERE. (She didn't have a blog then, so I had the honor of publicizing for her!)
Anyway, I gave up dessert last year for 6 months and 6 days. By the end, I didn't crave it at all. I'm not sure it made much of a difference in my appearance, but I certainly felt better. Being that I'm an all or nothing kind of girl (shocking, I know) - I find it's easier just to give things up than to try and ration. This is how I don't drink sodas and don't eat icecream. Sweets... those are harder... but it's cool. I'm ready to give them up too. My goal is to make it to CdA and celebrate the race with some chocolate cake or something. Realistically, I'll try to make it to New Years. FYI, blueberry pancakes do not count! ;)
Here I am with my last dessert of the year... strawberries and pound cake at Souper Salad. Yum!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The bags of candy - those are for my clients. (Honestly, not my belly. My belly is full of candy corn and candy pumpkins, there is no room for this stuff!)
What I find odd, obviously, is the magazine... which apparently I have a subscription for since I get it every month. Ummm. Yeah. Not sure what that's about.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Who knew dancing to Thriller with 880 other Austinites would be one of the most fun things I've done all year? Well... I kinda did... which is why I did it!
And Austin set the World Record!! Man... it was a blast. A total freaking blast. (Getting that?! :)) I'm glad I got to share it with Sadie & Gira, too... kudos to them for going all out in Zombie attire. They rocked it.
Here's some videos I found. Wow. Incredible!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Thursday night: Michael Jackson.
November 13th: 90's Pop/Rap. To cite the lovely Lulu:
Stop. Collaborate and listen.
Every once in awhile there comes an event so monumental that no man or woman can pass it up. That event is coming on 11/13 at 9:30PM. Yes my friends, as hard as it is to believe, the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown is bringing us.....
90’s Pop Rap Sing-a-long
Will Smith. MC Hammer. Vanilla Ice. Color Me Badd.
CAN YOU ASK FOR MORE????
I love Austin so much. I love that I have crazy friends who want to join me for this stuff. I want to go bust a move right this minute. Come one... come all!!! (Just putting it out there!)
Monday, October 20, 2008
I had my share of Austin random fun. (Tour De Fat and learning to dance the Thriller at the Off Center were both awesome crazy things.) I love experiencing Austin... and in a way where I don't need anyone to accompany me. I am happy to put stuff out there to my friends, but if they don't want to come, that doesn't mean I won't go myself. That's pretty liberating.
That being said, it was fun to have company! At one point, my house was completely full of people and the front yard full was full of bikes. Leslie & Jon drove up and were quite taken aback, I think! It was fun to ride around with Kerry, Shorey, Panther & Mike at the Tour... funny how you can email people 100x or more a day, but we rarely see each other. Quality girl time with Maggie was perfect on Saturday night... just what I needed. I also spent a lot of time practicing honesty... which can be difficult (you know, shedding that protective shell) but ultimately a good thing.
So, back to Monday... What's going on? I guess I'm just tired and sore. I was amazed that I stayed in the pool this morning through 2500yards... it was definitely a mental battle. I'm also mentally tired, but like I said - I think that's a good thing. Anyway, it's going to be a great week. Lots going on... lots to look forward to... and in the spirit of putting stuff out there... come join me this Saturday for Thrill the World Austin!
Friday, October 17, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
So, I swam Monday and Tuesday mornings. Went to core and spin last night. Went to core this morning. And WOW. Ouch. Can I do a real pushup? No. Can I effectively hold the plank position? No. Can I raise my arms above my head today without cringing? No. No I can not.
Time to start going back to core workouts. I'm putting it out there now - if I miss Wednesday morning core, there better be a darn good excuse.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Even if you don't think there is anything you can do, just lean forward. Never lean backwards - that's how you fall. I love it. Lean forward - make forward progress. Obviously I am all about "reframe" but I think I'll be adopting the "lean forward" philosophy too. It is so simple, but it applies to everything.
On another note, I am such a huge fan of communication. I like to think I'm a great communicator, but turns out I need people to give me a wake up call every now and then. (Thank you.)
Monday, October 13, 2008
I was on 2222, driving to T3 Swim, around 5:20. The roads were pretty slick, and believe it or not, I was fully paying attention to driving for once. Suddenly, I was veering right and my car skid out of control. It was slow motion as I spun wide about 290 degrees all over the road. When I came to a stop, I was in the middle of the road (in somewhat of a blind spot for oncoming traffic) and facing the other way. All my lights were on in the car, and it wouldn't go to drive. I put my hazards on, restarted the car (which luckily did restart), turned the car around and was on my way.
I was so lucky that I didn't spin off the road and that there were no other cars around. It was certainly a wake up call to appreciate being alive and healthy. As I was swimming, I was reminded how fortunate I am. An ironically good start to my Monday.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I need a reframe. (Like how I've made that into a noun?!)
I've had a really nice week and weekend. I really took it easy last week, and my soreness was gone by Wednesday. I have really enjoyed spending quality time with my close friends without feeling the pressures of training. Luckily I've been able to combine much of it with some no-pressure workouts, like swimming with Maggie, recovery rides with Ben and Rich and running with Elizabeth. I am fully stocked from Hobby Lobby & the Westbank Library, and I am now attempting some new hobbies. I had dinner with Leslie on Wednesday and it was so awesome to catch up with her. I got quality Dionn time on Thursday night. I am watching Kris' dog this weekend and he's a big mass of entertainment. I have some new projects at work which should keep me busy (in a good way.) I have lunch with Mer on Tuesday and I can't wait to hear about her race. I get company from Karma most of the week. I'm going to be starting my off-season run training soon which is pretty exciting. The weather is great. The coffee I'm drinking is yummy. I don't feel too guilty about the week of debauchery I had eating and drinking whatever I wanted. (too guilty, mind you.) Ohhh... I actually spent time in my kitchen yesterday! Turns out I kind of like the kitchen.
I have been giving a lot of thought to things that I want out of life, where I am right now and stuff like that - which is really healthy. I am feeling very appreciative of the multitude of understanding people in my life.
I think I'm going to go do laundry and watch Mad Hot Ballroom, and ignore everything that I can't accomplish on my own. In the grand scheme, I'm lucky enough that there are people who will help me if I need it.
Alright, reframe... check. I feel better.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Anyway... as I wandered around Hobby Lobby last night for about 30 minutes... I started to realize that I may have a problem. I am starting to recognize the staff. I know exactly where everything I need is. I found myself reading the craft books and getting big ideas about what projects I want to start and skills I want to learn.
Now that Longhorn is over, I think I might start up some new hobbies. My list includes: mosaics, beading, making more and better robots and sewing. I'd also love to learn how to cook. And I'd like to start ballet classes. Oh, I'd also like to start playing piano again. And start playing Scrabble again, too. And make it to the museums more often. And paint my bedroom. And take some informal classes at U.T.
Hmmm. Time to prioritize. Anyway, if I start talking about hanging out at craft stores more than once a week, please feel free to intervene. Or join me! :)
On my first loop, I put my visor as low as possible so that no one would see my face as I "ran" by...Second time around, complete with my bottle of Nuun water, I was back in good spirits!
Thanks for the pics, Joe!
Sunday, October 05, 2008
I'm too tired to write out a coherent report, so I will again display my newfound love of lists:
-What I'm most proud of? Biking 19.9mph at a comfortable pace. I never went out of my comfort zone, meaning I definitely could have pushed harder had I wanted to. I kept it as calm as I could for being in a half ironman!
-What I'm least proud of? My run. 2:23 for 13.1 miles, or a 10:55 pace. I walked at least 25% of the course, probably much more. If it hadn't been for Rhonda, who stuck by me for about 5 miles, I would have walked much more than that.
-What happened!? Something about my nutrition didn't work, and I didn't have a backup. My body was not enjoying PureSport and the Gatorade bar at all, but I had little else to fall back on. I was sick by mile 10 on the bike. Without going into detail, I'll say that I was sick at least 4 times that I remember... and my nutrition suffered big time. Additionally, I didn't take enough electrolytes, which cost me my run.
-What saved me? The people, of course. Seeing Richard, Mike, Kevin, Phil, Chris, Chris, Shorey, the Austin Duathletes Superhero Waterstop and T3 was so inspiring. I didn't want to let anyone down, so I kept moving forward. Rhonda stuck by me when I wanted to stop running. Then... Meredith, my angel, worked up an emergency nutrition plan which had me back on my feet in no time. (Unfortunately, I only had 3 miles to go at this point.)
-Best line of the day? Kevin, via email: "I really admire your attitude Erin!" Erin, on the run: "ROAR! I want to die!!!!!" Kevin, post race: "I didn't really know what to say to that."
-Best shirt of the day? "I don't do triathlons. I do triathletes."
-Favorite moments? Smelling like Pina Coladas at the Sunscreen Spot with Elizabeth. Getting out of the lake and seeing 29:39 on my watch, and never considering that of course the swim was short. Seeing Chris, who I had no clue was coming out, at mile 2 on the bike. Catching Blythe on the bike... and then getting dropped. Getting nutrition from Mike & Meredith on the run. Seeing Mo during my second loop and hearing "way to turn things around Erin!" Dancing the Super Mario Brothers Dance with Kenny at the water stop. Hearing Richard say, "wow - you really CAN bike!" Laura telling me she placed third at Aquabike.
-Best secret weapon? Richard! Thank you for taking care of me, otherwise I would have been a mess. (Tips from a pro aren't so bad either!)
Longhorn was giant fun! Granted, for about 1.25 hours... I wouldn't have said that... but I reframed, got my head back in the game, and broke my 6:00 goal by almost 15 minutes. A very good day indeed. :)
Thanks for all the well wishes, by the way. I was most appreciative.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
1) Going to the gym with Panther 3-4 times/week. I was such a gym rat - doing anything to avoid an actual triathlete type workout. So, I concentrated on building some muscle and reaching my goal of leg pressing 340lbs. I always looked forward to meeting Panther at 4:00 to get our "Max Strength" on.
2) Team Woot. Training officially started the first weekend in March. I'm not sure I knew what I was even training FOR, but I knew that I wanted to train with Panther, Dionn, Glenda, Kris, Triscuit & Michelle. We had a lot of fun workouts together, especially our "Woot Camp Boot Camp."
3) Attempting to ride to the Rookie Tri with Kris, and getting lost more times than I can mention. We had so much fun during that ride, and thank goodness D came to pick us up after the race as we sat, beaten down, on the side of some random road.
4) All the race advice from Mike. Needing more hate, or more "Not liking very much." I think he finally gets that I don't operate that way... today he told me to stay in my happy place, because going anywhere else would be completely unfamiliar.
5) Runs with Phil. I considered those opportunities times to reflect on how far I'd come since my first step on the trail. His advice and feedback has always been invaluable to me. It's ironic that I would never run with him in the past because I was too intimidated, but ultimately it turns out he was (is) a great running partner.
6) Mesa Repeats. I would call Chris each time I attempted Mesa and say "I'm going to call you when I'm done, and if I don't say "I completed X repeats" then kick my butt." It worked! In fact, whenever I would need someone to be accountable to, he was there in the most supportive way possible.
7) The ACA ride post SXSW. I was so hungover, but I still managed to get out there and ride 50 miles with Tim & Scot. I was slow, but they patiently waited for me, and I was very happy to get those miles in.
8) Meeting Kerry at 24 Hour Fitness. We would swim, lift, attempt Latin Spice, and ogle Bobby Bones. (Fine, I admit it! We ogled!) I was so bummed when my membership ran out... I really miss those workouts.
9) T3 Swim Clinic. This is where I realized I really DIDN'T know what I was doing in the pool. At one point, a few years ago, I could swim. Then it went away. Swim clinic was the turning point where I started to get it back... and I lost my flick!
10) Signing up for Longhorn. For the record, I was drunk when I signed up for Longhorn. Mike, Panther & I had been at Rio Rita drinking way too many margaritas for a weeknight. I came home, started chatting with D, and next thing I know I was looking at my race confirmation.
11) Signing up for IMCDA. Chris & Dionn can recall how adamant I was that I wouldn't sign up. I was waiting. No way did I want to jump on that train!!! And before I knew it, not 20 minutes after registration opened, I signed up. FOMO much? Nah... it was more admitting that I actually WAS ready. I'll never, ever forget Chris's face when I showed him my race confirmation. Damn if he didn't know all along.
12) Joining T3. I can't even begin to describe what a crazy decision this was for me. At a time of so much change in my life, I wanted to rely on the consistency of my (old) training group. But it wasn't meant to be, and thanks to ALL the seeds that D had planted (and nudging from Meredith & Chris) - I joined. I still miss my old group/coach, but this was the best decision I could have made for the sake of my training and my sanity!
13) Volunteering at Jack's with Elizabeth. It was here that I realized that someone else was my pace on the run - my most dreaded part of triathlon. I had been so timid about running with T3, but meeting her and realizing that I had a partner (and new great friend) to train with turned my entire perspective around. (Betty, Blythe, Rhonda & Jess have also helped me deal with my fear of running.)
14) Couples Tri. This is when my attitude about my ability really took a turn. Plus, racing with Dionn and stepping on the podium our first time in T3 Blue felt pretty awesome.
15) The U.T. Cycling Studies. Thank goodness I got to do these side by side with Kerry. They were hard, but so worth it. When times get tough, I can think back to doing the Macarena while attached to a tube.
16) T3 morning swim practices. I felt an unwritten obligation to show up and attempt to beat Charles. What a blast. :)
17) Sweet & Twisted Tri. When Joey announced my name, that I had won 3rd in my AG, I couldn't believe it. It was so much fun to have the T3 girls + Maggie cheer for me. Again, I actually felt like an athlete!
18) Maggie. She is a constant source of inspiration to me. I am so glad she joined T3...
19) Monday morning runs with Holly. I miss those a bunch. They were the perfect way to start off the week and see my friend. I'm looking forward to the time when we can run together again.
20) The people. Duh, this is where the really cheesy part happens. I have met so many people this year, and I'm inspired by all of them. I could start naming names, but I can't begin to remember everyone. However, there is obviously one person that stands out more than anyone... and (SHOCK!) here she is. I owe so much of my season to her.
So... there were just a few (20) of my favorite training memories this year. In 5 hours, I'll wake up... get ready... head out to Decker Lake... and at 7:44, it's GO TIME.
What a year it's been. :)
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Five years ago, I could not run 1 mile without stopping. I'm serious, not 1 measly mile. Four years ago, I ran my first marathon, and five months later raced my first triathlon. Two years ago, I completed my first and only half iron distance race. By the way, my first instinct is to be embarrassed at my slow time, but looking back - I was so proud of myself when I finished, and I can't diminish that. Last year, I was burned out and fizzled out in July. This year, I got serious. I started thinking about doing well. I went on to place at Spenco, Couple's and Sweet & Twisted. I won 2nd at Urban Assault, and 1st at the Women's Adventure Race. I stayed committed to the plan and milked T3 (and formerly Woot Camp) for all it was worth.
I was thinking about posting my training totals, but I find them irrelevant now. I've put in the work. I've stayed committed. I have had my ups and downs, but I have always came out stronger. Longhorn is just the icing on the cake at this point.
I'm surprisingly calm. Almost excited, maybe? Of course I'd like to perform well, but I'm not really that concerned about time. I'm not an elite, nor will I ever be. I'm not going to win, nor will I come anywhere close. What I will have is six solid hours to reflect on the past year of training, commitment, frustrations, triumphs, new friends, old friends, love, loss, change and clarity.
I'm not going to predict anything about Sunday other than I hope I enjoy a really (really!) long workout. ;) I can tell you this much, I have had more fun training for this race than for any other race I've done. The experience has been invaluable, and I am thrilled to head to the start line with the attitude I have.
This year, I realized that I am only as good as I let myself be, and it was time to stop selling myself short. At triathlon, yes. But so much more importantly - it was time to stop selling myself short at LIFE.
I got an email from a client today that sums up my attitude right now, so I thought I'd share:
"I really enjoyed seeing you! And, did I mention you looked fabulous! I can see a glow about you that I have not seen in some time. I don't know what it is, but I hope it stays with you!"
Yup, me too. Bring it, Longhorn!!!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Swam twice (2600m on Monday am, 3700m today)
Biked once (25 miles yesterday - essentially an easy gab session with Laura)
Ran thrice (?!) (5 miles Thursday, 4 miles Friday, 3 miles today)
I think the amount of sleep I got added up to about 6 hours, too. Good taper stuff here!!!
Honestly, I don't care. I'm wrapping up the week with a huge smile on my face.
Friday, September 26, 2008
ANYWAY... I had no idea what I was in for when the Grease Monkey Wipes team decided to attend Interbike. Honestly, I had no idea what Interbike was. I can sum it up in one word. WOW.
First, let me give the most huge thanks to Jack Murray & the rest of the J&A team (Stacy, Zane, Drew & Rich.) They were the sole reason we we were able to attend this show, since it is closed to the general public. I can't even begin to explain how valuable these guys were to us... not to mention how cool it was to hang out with them and see the industry through their eyes.
Monday & Tuesday was Outdoor Demo. Jack picked me up at the airport, and took us right to Boulder City. Most of the bike companies had all of their bikes available to test - and there were road and mountain bike routes set up. I didn't bring any gear, so I mainly wandered around and checked things out. We handed out samples to the bike mechanics, but generally just ogled the bikes. Richard & I hit it off right away and started competing to see who could get the best shwag for the day- that was awesome... and now I will never look at Nuun the same again. I also have to add that killing one of Austin's best triathletes on a hill climb was pretty cool, even if I was demoing an electric hybrid bike. :)
One of the coolest things for me was standing around with Jim Felt (yes- MR. FELT, who CREATED MY BIKE) and hearing him pitch the AR2. I had no idea who he was until midway through our conversation - he was just one of the guys - and that was very very cool.
I felt that one day at the Outdoor Demo was enough, so I took Tuesday off from Interbike and read a book/slept/recovered from Monday night. (Yeah, um, that's all I'm going to mention about that.) It was nice to take an honest vacation day/night. By the way, the water shows at the Bellagio are amazing, no matter how many times I watched them.
Wednesday - Friday was the Indoor Trade Show. I'm somewhat at a loss of how to describe this. (Sorry, Mark!) Take every bike shop in Austin and put them on the strongest steroids out there - that is Interbike. Just off the top of my head, I saw Felt, Gatorade, Cervelo, Oakley, Polar, Garmin, Hammer, Rocket Science, Pedros, Paceline, Fuelbelt, Michelin, Nuun, Hammer, Clif, Powerbar, Keen, Shimano, Shram, QR, Kuatro, Pearl Izumi, Champ Sys, Cytomax, ERS, etc... etc... Road bikes, tri bikes, mountain bikes, cruiser bikes, bike parts, bike clothes, bike components, nutrition, accessories, distributors, and on and on and on...
Again, all I can say is WOW. It was like being a kid in a candy store. Honestly, it took me a day before I could even think of promoting Grease Monkey!
Which leads me to my change in plans. Tim & Kerry left on Wednesday, but I wanted to stay... I'd come all the way to Vegas to grow our business, and I wasn't missing out. Luckily I changed my flight (free!), booked a cheap room at the I.P. and had 2 more amazing days of opportunities. I am so glad that I stayed, and here's why:
Wednesday night was the National Cyclocross Championships. I'd never been to a cyclocross race, so I had no idea what to expect... but HOLY COW. These races (which are like crits, but on crazy courses) are intense! Watching Lance Armstrong whiz by over and over was pretty freaking cool... and mind you, he wasn't even in the lead pack. For a sport that I had no clue about, I had a blast.
I spent the day Thursday at the Expo. Throughout the day, Jack was awesome at taking me around and introducing me to key players. It was pretty incredible how differently people responded to me with Jack by my side than when I was alone. That man has some serious pull. I also owe a huge thanks to Richard, who did the whole expo with me. Getting the industry view from both the bike shop angle and the pro triathlete angle was pretty incredible. I can't measure my new found appreciation and insight. Here he is wowing the Polar reps while doing a 1 minute power test.
So, you know those times when you are so tired that all you want to do is go home and sleep? That was me times ten on Thursday night... but before I could resist I was at the National Crit Championships at the Mandalay Bay. I've obviously seen crits before, but this was absolutely insane. It was incredible to watch the world's best zoom by for 60 laps, but adding to that was the fact that we were located in the prime crash zone. We honestly served as crash pads as no less than 10 cyclists ran straight into the barricades we were standing behind. Everyone got pretty close as we grabbed each other as if we were riding a rollercoaster. I coined a new workout - spectator intervals - which were the 30 seconds of heart racing we had every lap as the cyclists approached. I met amazing people out there, too. I walked away from that race thinking "that was probably one of the coolest nights of my entire life." And to think that I almost slept through it.
Friday - you guessed it - more Expo!! Everyone was pretty tired by this point, so it was a lot of just hanging out. I had a good time talking to many of the vendors - but the highlight was talking to the marketing director at Cervelo. It was a privilege to meet him and hear his advice.
To sum it up, I'm not going to talk about Grease Monkey (that's for Tim & Kerry.) I will say that personally, I learned more this week than I could have possibly dreamed of - not just in the cycling industry, but in business and life. For a trip that I was nearly dreading, it turned out to be one of the best weeks of my life.
That being said, if I don't hear Frank Sinatra again for a year, that would be just fine. :) So long, Las Vegas.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I felt amazing. It was as if the bike gods were smiling down on me - the weather was perfect, my legs felt strong, my nutrition was working... I kept waiting for Liz & Jim to catch me, but they didn't. As I was riding, expecting them to come up any minute, I realized that I always ride with the mentality that I'm only as good as the people I ride with. In other words, I'm only as good as I think I am. Screw that - I don't want these manufactured limitations!!! So, I let them go, and I flew. What a feeling!
I joined Jim & Tom for a run off the bike. I was still feeling pretty good, and thanks to Tom's encouragement, ended up with a pretty quick 2.5 miles at a pace that shocked me. I'm still not positive I believe Tom's GPS, but I'll take it. The point is, I gave up thinking that I only run a slow pace and let my legs do the work instead. It worked!
This was always a favorite quote of mine: "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right." So true.
My other mantra yesterday has summed up this entire training season. "It's not about the score, it's about how you play the game." I honestly and truly do not care what my Longhorn time is. Of course I'd like to do well, but this entire experience is so much more than that. I have learned so much about myself, made so many new friends and gained insights and appreciations I never expected. I am proud of my training, of my decisions and of my accomplishments. I am happier with myself now than I can ever remember, and that's what it's all about.
I really am loving playing the game.
Friday, September 19, 2008
First... as I mentioned, I procrastinated my butt off in booking my Vegas flights. So I ended up on cheapair.com with a $500 ticket for dates that I didn't exactly want, and long travel days. But, it was my fault so I was going to deal with it.
Then, around 7:00pm, my long lost friend John sent me a text that he had a Southwest award ticket for me to use. But I already booked nonrefundable flights!!!! GRRRR! But... this morning, I called Southwest and found out they could put me on the exact flights I needed. I called cheapair and learned that because I was cancelling with in 24 hours, there would only be a $25 fee. So... in the end, I completely won out! YES! (By the way, I haven't seen John in eleven years. How amazing is it that he saved me?!!)
So... good karma... rockin'!
Later this afternoon, my boss called me and told me, "I need you to be a hero. Find xyz, and put it into place stat." Lucky for me, I was sitting right next to the man who could help me... and he took care of everything in a matter of minutes. Once I told my boss everything was under control, he sent me a, "Damn. You're awesome!" text back. Double karma!!
I am feeling so lucky right now. Rock on.
So... I know I'm being vague, but I will say that in about 10 minutes yesterday, I took care of something I've been working towards all year. It was easier than I could have imagined and all the while, I felt... right. Then I treated myself to a trip to the Austin Museum of Art. The exhibit there, Modern Art/Modern Lives: Then + Now, is AWESOME. I am continually impressed with the exhibits that Dana Friis-Hansen pulls together. Moreover, I want to meet the Austinites that OWN these pieces. Holy cow. Anyway, I could go on and on and on and on about how much I enjoyed the exhibit, but I think I made my point.
I had a great evening and still managed to make my 5:15 run with Elizabeth & Yvonne. Our run was *only* eight miles (love that!), and I was surprised at how great I felt. Got ready at the springs and watched the sunrise. Perfect morning.
Someone asked me if I'm one of those people who could be happy anywhere. After some thought, I would say that yes - I think I am one of those people. Don't get me wrong, I certainly have my moments. Generally though, I look for the positive in things and appreciate where I am at any minute. It certainly helps that I have such great friends and live in such a great city. :)
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
That being said, if anyone has a spare place on their floor Wednesday night, I need a room! ;)
So... Interbike... one year ago I had never heard of it, and now I co-own a company and will be (pardon the stupid pun) guerrilla marketing like crazy. Should be a blast!!!!
I skipped core and swimming this morning in favor of sleeping in. I was up at 5:00am, but I just couldn't motivate myself to get dressed, so I went back to sleep... until 8:20. Guess I needed it! After much debate, I made myself go to swim practice at lunch and did a very easy 2500m. Lunch swims with T3 are hard... all the uber-fast people are there and I go from "I'm kicking butt at swimming" to "uh. yeah. reality... check!"
By about 3:00, I was in my typical "I don't want to go to the run workout - I hate running" mode. I was out of work early, so I decided to see if Phil wanted to meet me at the trail to run. I like running with him because he completely intimidates me running, yet he'll go whatever pace I go and inevitably I end up pushing harder, and he will talk nonstop to distract me. I thought we'd do 5 miles, with a few pickups thrown in. There was some type of movie shoot at the area by the Statesman, so our loop was thwarted and we ended up doing the 7 mile loop. We ran the middle section at a very solid clip, averaging about 8:20s I'd guess, and kept up a pretty good pace for the whole run. I felt like I got some good quality in, AND it was nice to catch up with Phil. We ended where T3 was doing the quality run, so I jogged over and joined in. Did stride outs, 4 x 400m repeats (I'm pretty sure the 400's were actually 200's... thanks Yvonne!) and then did a cooldown 800m. 8.5 miles for the evening, and I felt fantastic.
I am such a headcase when it comes to running, but tonight - thanks largely to the cool weather - I felt so much faster. Bring on the cold!!!
Now, back to my hot chocolate. A very, very good day indeed.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I was a very clumsy child (shock) and spent a lot of time in the school nurse's office. I also remember falling off my bike quite a bit as a child. And in college, geez. I fell over all the time for no reason at all. (Just ask Damsky, she oftentimes would look over to talk to me as we'd walk to class and I'd be flat on my face.) However, the majority of scars have come since I started training: largely due to tripping while running and falling off my bike.
So, the status of my ugly knees right now? Well, I still have bruises and scrapes from the Adventure Race last weekend, and today I managed to cut my knee while doing the T3 indoor bike ride. Seriously, I injured myself during indoor spin to the point I had blood running down my leg and now have even more bruises and cuts on my knees.
Who hurts themselves during indoor spin? Yeah, that's me. I do.
Friday, September 12, 2008
I admit, I'm feeling little overwhelmed... I have a lot of work functions going on without needing to respond to Hurricane Ike. To put it in perspective, I do feel lucky that Austin seems to be spared. I really am hoping that it somehow fizzles out and the Texas coast is okay.
I did manage to meet Elizabeth & Blythe this morning at 4:45 to get our long run in. As I take on the rest of my day, it feels pretty darn good to have already run a half marathon this morning! Man I felt strong... stronger than I have felt in months. What a change in weeks this has been for me!
Alright, now to prepare for a trade show, hurricane conference call, respond to emails, run home to change/Karma duty, trade show, more hurricane stuff... and then, hopefully, T3 happy hour and some down time. I'll probably be asleep by 8:00. :) Should be a really good weekend - I'm thinking about it to get me through the rest of today.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This week is SO much better than last week. Phew!
Monday: 1.25 hour am swim (I felt fantastic and maybe even surprised my lane by pushing it); .25 hour pm core; 1 hour pm run (this was a mental victory. sly d & coach made me show up for zilker repeats, but i got to do a shortened workout); 8 hours of sleep!
Tuesday: 1.25 hour am swim (shared a t2 lane with Michelle & Jess, which rocked); 1 hour lunchtime nap; 2 hour spin (best spin class YET!), .25 hour run (felt like i was flying!)
Wednesday: 1 hour am swim (easy breezy 2750m); 1.5 hour quality run (2 mile warmup + 4 mile repeats at descending pace - pushed it and succeeded!)
I could stop right now and feel good about my week. Of course I won't, but I'm happy so far and am pleased to report that my head is back in the game. With that, time to go to sleep!
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Apparently 5 - 6 hours doesn't cut it. (Shock!) Thus, my plan is to get more sleep. Starting last night, I got 8 hours! I was in bed by 8:45, asleep by 9:00. Slept in till 5:00 = 8 hours!
However... sleep cannot overcome my blondness. I packed my swim stuff, work clothes and bike/run clothes for tonight. Made some coffee, ate a banana, then headed out. What did I forget that was pretty important for biking tonight? Oh... my bike.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Yesterday was our second showing at the Women's Adventure Race. Kerry posted a great recap of our pre-race craziness (which included me doing the practiceman Saturday, Kerry drinking a lot, forgetting our life jackets, not inflating our floats, etc...) Once we finally arrived to the site, we did a tiny warm-up, and I'll be honest - my legs were dead. D-E-A-D. The signs were not looking good. Kerry tried to convince me that we were just racing for fun... but I knew better. With Kerry, it is all business. I shuddered to think what would happen if I didn't perform.
Anyway, having done this race before definitely helps. I'll spare the details, but basically we ran to a secret location, grabbed our third teammate (a rubber chicken!!!) and went to work on various obstacles throughout a 3 mile hilly course, through the woods at the YMCA. Obstacles included: handcuffing ourselves together, three legged race, disc golf with the chicken, croquette with the chicken, ball tosses, obstacle courses and the very dreaded water section.
The water section. UGH. Midway through this race, after barreling down a pretty steep hill, we have to pick up our lifejackets and flotation devices, run to the lake and swim across it. Most smart people use inflatable kayaks or rafts. Kerry & me? We used rafts and swim paddles. Let me just say, again, that Erin + Inflatable Objects = NO GO. I had to eventually latch on to Kerry so she could paddle me to the water exit. Pa-the-tic.
I should mention that all the while, we were battling it out with this badass mother+daughter Austin Flyer team. We beat them last year, but this year they were ready to kick our butts. The girl may have been only 9 or 10, but she was a force. Anyway, I was nearly certain they were going to beat us, but somehow we edged them out at the very end and took first overall. The Grease Monkey Girls prevailed... and Erin was saved from a serious beating from Kerry. Phew!
Here are some pics:
Our high tech flotation devices. Good idea... very poor execution by me.
Modeling our YOUTH lifejackets. I'm still unsure how I got this thing snapped. Let's just say taking it off was equally challenging.
Getting my head in the game... (not really, but do i look like it?!)
Superstar Kerry- Queen of the Water. (She deserved a Good Dickens! Ha!)