Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pack. Unpack. Repeat.

So many bags. Seriously, this is ridiculous. I am looking at all the bags I need to unpack right now.

1) Gym bag with wet swimsuit, towels, gym clothes.
2) Bike/run bag with random clothes and running shoes.
3) Plastic bag with mountain bike shoes, bike clothes from this morning and running jersey.
4) Rogue bag with bike accutrements - arm warmers, food wrappers, gloves, etc.

And once I unpack them, I'll load them all back up to get ready to restart tomorrow. :)

Today was an unintentional quadruple brick, which partially explains the bags. I didn't want to ride in the rain, so I went to the gym for my brick. But I was early, so I ended up doing weights for 30 minutes, then spin class for 1 hour, then a 3.5 mile progressive pace run on the dreadmill, then swam 1000m. It was really fun, but I was definitely ready to get out of the gym after 3 hours.

I gotta say, I'm doing really well at resting during this training. I actually have energy for my quality workouts, which is somewhat of a change for me. Minus the fact that I somehow hurt my right quad and couldn't run Tuesday/Wednesday, I feel that I'm actually training pretty smart for once. I'll say it again - it feels good to actually be training again versus working out without a point.

Alright, time to unpack and repack the bags.

Stolen Rosedale Pictures

I stole these pictures from Amy's FlickR. Below is a picture of Glenda & me before starting off on our 63 mile Rosedale ride. Please notice what amazing fashion sense I have when I ride. Blue helmet, hot pink jersey, black and red bike shorts, and the Lulu-inspired sleeveless jersey/arm warmer combo. I never did end up taking those off yesterday - dang it was cold! Regardless of my fashion sense, I got to ride with Glenda! As in, Glenda stayed slow enough for me to keep up with her. I must say, this is the best I've felt on a long ride in a while. We faced a headwind for the first half of the ride which meant we got to cruise (for the most part) on the way back. We averaged 16.7mph and at one point were pulling a massive group of male riders. I admit, I love it when our group (this time, Glenda, Triscuit & me) were surrounded by all these serious guy cyclists. You can often feel their frustration - it rocks. :)

We all went to Trudy's post ride to meet up with Panther. I kept saying I felt like a massive donut hole. Throughout the ride, I tried to alternate between "sweet stop" and "healthy stop" by switching from a donut hole/cookie rest stop to an apple slice rest stop.
I gotta say, though. Nothing beats rest stops at supported rides. Or... um... post ride mexican food & ritas. ;) Good day, good day!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

We want cake! Where's our cake!?

Today was the Rosedale Ride 63 miler. Glenda, Triscuit, Gina & I had a blast... and though I would write more about it - I think I'll sum it up with this video. "We want cake! Where's our cake!?"

I am so tired!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield

Saw this link on Southpaw's blog, and I've been following it ever since. These comic strips are awesome! So, if you need a new place to look every day - check out this site: Garfield minus Garfield.

The website description is the best:

Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My head hurts...

From Tony:
"And Done. Wow. What a strange game. I included a screen shot of the final board as an attachment because I know how weird you are about this stuff. "

This was a hard game! Who knew Scrabble was such a defensive game?!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Goodnight :)

I have been wondering why I'm so tired, especially after taking a very easy recovery week. But as I look back at the past 4 days, I guess I see why:

Breakfast meeting, work, luncheon, beer run, clubhouse setup, crawfish boil, late night happy hour, sleep, run, work, nap, scrabble, scrabble again, sleep, ride, run, eat, work, noodles, cupcake, sleep, veg, shop, maggie, terry & pat, eat, hard-core scrabble, crossword, sleep, work, run, work, michelle, work... Uh, yeah. I spent more time than normal on my couch lately, but it was not enough. It's 9:00, and I'm going to bed!

Kerry snapped this picture of me at my Crawfish Boil. Look - I'm working! Seriously, life is hard. :)


Tonight Michelle reminded me that Kids in the Hall is coming to Austin. Not sure if I will go, but I was inspired to look for my favorite KITH skit - "Terriers."

I remember Jenna & I singing, "Die.. die... die... die..." over and over in college - it was awesome. Not as awesome as our adventures with my Alf doll or post-it notes, but it that's another post.

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008


I'm far too sore for this to have been my "easy week." I took it really easy, too... Damn it! (Or, as Kris would say, "DAMN it!") However, my quads, hamstrings and calves are soooo sore.

What a great morning for a ride. Panther, Dionn, Kris & I headed on a new route from East Austin to past 290 & Springdale. Minus a few hills (argh, I hate them so much!) it was a near perfect ride. I followed it with a 1.5 mile run with only the goal of keeping the three of them within site, and then we headed to Nuevo Leon for lunch. Perfect morning!!

I had 10-13 miles on my schedule for Sunday, but opted to do 10 with Leslie yesterday morning instead. Once upon a time, when I first started this running business, Leslie and I were the same pace. But then she got much faster, and I stopped marathon training, and now I believe she can kick my butt if we were to race. However, I love running with her because we are somewhat similarly paced now and yet she really makes me push myself. After 8 miles yesterday, I was ready to be done - but she looked really strong and I couldn't let her out show me. (Thank you so much, L! You are the best running partner!)

Other than a bike ride Wednesday followed by a sprint quality run, I don't have any reason why I'm so sore. I might take tomorrow off before two more weeks of pain begin.

By the way, I really love this training. It feels really nice to be doing something completely for myself that is challenging yet rewarding. And of course, sharing it with my friends is icing on the cake.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Adventure Quest - May 31st!

I just want to apologize in advance for not specifically donating to any group rides, events, etc. this year. I promise that I support you! This year I've got a few select charities in mind that I will be giving to. So rather than say yes to some, and no to others, I'm going to pool my resources towards an event that is very special to me.

Last year, I helped coordinate the first AAFAME Amazing Race. This benefited a very special place called the Angelheart Children's Shelter, located in Plfugerville. Last year the event raised over $7,000 - and we only had 30 teams competing. This year, I hope to have a ton more and raise a lot more money. So... I won't ask anyone to donate - but, I do suggest you compete. Last year Tim & Carri won the whole thing, and to the best of my knowledge, had a great time in the process. This year's renamed Adventure Quest will be on Saturday, May 31st this year, and I'll be posting more details soon. Save the date - I promise you will have a blast. :)

In the meantime, good luck to all of my friends who are doing their own events. My helmet's off to you!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

More Celebrity Sightings...

This was my first year to really participate in SXSW - and by participate, I mean attend all the free shows that required no badge or wristband. There were emails going around for weeks about what shows to RSVP to, and honestly I ignored most of them. (Sorry, guys. Next year I will pay attention!) However, I did RSVP to Rachael Ray's "Feedback" Party for Saturday - free food, mojitos & music. Perfect.

This party was so much fun!! First of all, did I mention free food and drinks? I hadn't eaten anything after my morning bike/run, so I was starving. The only vegetarian option was mac & cheese, which was delicious. So it was mainly a liquid lunch day - and the passionfruit mojitos were flowing. Mmmmm....

We saw "The Cringe" - Rachael's husband's band. I don't have much to say about them except that watching Panther stare in awe at Billy Gibbons (of ZZ Top fame) was awesome.
Here we are with Rachael. This marks my third celebrity encounter recently, by the way. She was pretty cool - having fun watching her hubby and dancing in the crowd. The best band there was "Scissors for Lefty" - they were awesome. The lead singer even gave Mike a special rub on his head during the opening song. ;) The next band was pretty mediocre, so we went back inside and met up with Dionn, and, well, drank more. It was that kind of day, what can I say.

Next we headed over to the Gingerman to watch the Onion Creek Crawdaddies. And after that, it was time to call it a day. If you saw me today, then you know what happened on the way home. I've decided perhaps I shouldn't put that in writing. :)

I'm so glad that I finally took advantage of SXSW after nine years of living in Austin. Thanks to everyone who shared it with me!


I have a confession. I hate reading about other people's workouts on their blogs.

But do I stop? No, of course not. Instead I constantly compare myself to them - did I swim as much? What's their run pace nowadays? They biked how many miles!? There are exceptions, of course. Crazy Mark, who is training for Ironman Arizona, writes a really interesting workout blog that I can't even begin to relate to. But the rest of them just make me question if I'm doing enough. For instance, I remember last year standing in my parent's kitchen hours after the Metroplex Sprint Tri, and Kris & I nearly got back on our bikes after reading Dionn's Danskin race report!

Here's another confession. I don't want anyone to know what I'm doing. That way if I really suck during a race, I can claim millions of excuses! Sad, isn't it?

But since I've just outed myself twice, I figure I will rejoin the bandwagon and share my workout week. After all, I'm feeling good about last week - so why not share. And also - I've made a commitment to myself. If I suck this year, it won't be because I didn't put in the work.

Monday: 4.5 mile run + 1.25 mile swim
Tuesday: gym + 6 mile quality run (including 6 x 800m repeats)
Wednesday: 2 mile swim + 17 mile bike + Latin Spice (which was actually a really good workout!)
Thursday: rest. (yes, I'm actually taking rest days!)
Friday: 23 mile ride + 2 roundtrips to downtown on the mountain bike
Saturday: 32 mile ride + 3 mile run + 1 roundtrip downtown on the mountain bike
Sunday: 50 mile ride + 1.5 mile run
Totals: 15 miles run, 128 miles biked, 3.25 miles swam, 2 gym

Not bad at all. :) I think my best showing was this morning, because it was a amazing that I actually got out of bed after all the SXSW activity yesterday. And this week I rest - thank god!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I Give a $%# about an Oxford Comma

I did it! I somehow managed to see Vampire Weekend!!! To think I was sitting in Starbucks this morning and they came on the radio - and I said, "if only I could see them live. But there's no way." *Insert classic Erin pouty face here*

Somehow? Well, I'll thank Mike because he stood in line for an hour or so at the Parish, and I joined him in line only 3 people away from the door and was in within 5 minutes. Score!

More importantly... why Vampire Weekend? I've been listening to them almost nonstop for a while now, only taking breaks when I need my TMBG fix. They are easily my second favorite band of the moment. I didn't think I would get to see them since they are supposedly the biggest band at SXSW this year. But... I did! They were so freaking awesome. You can listen to the live version of the show here. (BTW Mike, it is 37:55!!!) I highly recommend them... they rock.

Anyway, we watched some other bands - but VW was certainly the highlight. We were so close to them, they sounded great live, there was plenty of free beer, I might be on PBS, etc, etc.... Just an awesome afternoon!

Oh, they ended with Oxford Comma! YAY!!!! :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thanks, D.

You said I'd thank you later. Since it's later, consider this your thanks. Check!

It helps to have former professional cheerleaders in your life. :)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Training season is here. Last week was not a fluke... apparently riding my bike 100+ miles a week is going to be the norm moving forward. I don't mind at all - mentally I am very excited to be biking so much again. However, physically... Well, that is another story.

First there is my obvious cycling issue: I am not as fast as I used to be. That's being complimentary, for I could just as easily say that I am sl-sl-sl-sl-slow, and on hills - I resemble a hunched over blond turtle struggling to stay upright. This was proven on Mesa yesterday, where I could only do 2 - yes 2 - hill repeats. I thought if I went back down for another one, I would have a very slim chance of making it back up to the top. Not to worry though, I felt oh so much better about myself when I learned that Kris & Dionn did not 1, not 2, but 3 more repeats than me. Damn them!!

Then there are the long rides. I can stay with the group okay. That is for about 40 miles or so, before I get really tired and pray for huge tailwinds and for someone to get a flat (sorry!) Today, the group rode down to Texas State via Buda & Kyle. We actually managed to keep it easy until the turnaround. I've decided that keeping up with Glenda is a recipe for ending up in no man's land. You can be out ahead, but once she drops you, you're stuck to brave the ride on your own until everyone else catches up and of course passes you since you are completely spent. But it's kind of like a drug - for a few minutes, you feel this high as if you actually are a good cyclist. Anyway, the long rides are fun. But afterwards, I am exhausted. Today it's all I can do to clean my bathroom, play with the dogs, and try not to eat everything in site.

Anyway, the other lovely side affects of biking - the very very sexy tans lines. I can't say enough how freaking hot my legs look with tan lines from my bike shorts and socks. Throw in my multiple farmers tans from different jerseys.... I'm telling you, I need my own personal security guard. The men are just falling over themselves.

And finally, there is the process of getting "reacquainted" with my bike seat. If you have ever ridden a bike before, you understand. I'll leave it at that.

Alas, I do love my bike. I love the rides, the scenery, the camaraderie, the never ending cravings for gel blocks...

Yes, it's good to be back in the saddle.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

TMBG Afterglow...

I have been listening to TMBG all day. I did, however, resist driving to Houston to go see them again. I like how Southpaw said it, "I don’t want this to become a TMBG fan site, so I’ll [...] let the wonderful night dissolve into history." Well said.

I do have a definite afterglow, though. Thanks again to Dionn, Michelle, Tony, Ostrich and some random person who took Kris's ticket for coming with me.

Anyway, I'm glad I am feeling good mentally, because physically, I am in a world of hurt! (Mainly from the quickbricks workout on Tuesday. While I didn't feel it at the time, my legs are screaming at me now.) Thank goodness today was a rest day... the past week has been hard.

Friday: 5 mile run + Wilke repeats
Saturday: 50 mile ride + 1 mile run
Sunday: 10 mile ride + 6 mile run
Monday: 1 mile swim + 4.5 mile run
Tuesday: 3.5 mile run/quickbricks + weights/core
Wednesday: 20 mile ride + 1 mile run + 1 mile swim (time trial)

I really am having no problems taking these rest days! I was supposed to do Mesa hill repeats on the bike this afternoon, but I am SO glad that I am heading to happy hour instead.

And then it begins again tomorrow!

Did I mention I still love TMBG?! :)


I can barely think of words to write about how much I LOVE They Might Be Giants, or how much fun I had at the show last night. I am seriously considering a road trip to Houston to see them again tonight.
We hung out at Jaime's pre-show and watched the John's pace back and forth on their tour bus. That was as close as I would allow myself to get - I am at too high of a risk to become a Linnell stalker.

Last time they toured, I stood right under John Linnell. (Yes, he sang only to me. So wonderful of him!) This year, I went with a bunch of friends and stood halfway back, taking it all in. It seemed like they played every song I had hoped for - New York City, Ana Ng, Older, Dr. Worm, I'm Impressed, Particle Man, the Spine, and I could go on and on.

I could write all day about how much I love them, but instead I think I'll push "publish" and resume listening to them on my iTunes.

Monday, March 03, 2008


I am copying this post from my friend Barbara's blog. If you have been in my house, you'll surely recognize some of her art - she is one of my favorite artists and one of my favorite people, too.

Anyway, she & her family sold their house in Houston and moved to New Zealand. Seriously, they just MOVED TO NEW ZEALAND. How many people actually do that?! (BTW, if I were to move somewhere for a year, New Zealand would definitely be at the top of the list. I can't rave enough about how beautiful it is there.) Luckily, Barbara has a blog to document their journey. Her husband posted this recently, and I find it very insightful and inspiring. Thought I would share:


Keys are symbolic of so much. Ownership. One's place is society. Status. Possessions. Here is my/our keychain, as of today. It is very much "our" keychain. We only have one car, so whomever takes the car takes the keys. The other key is to our PO Box in town. Our key collection may appear slim, but really this signifies a re-accumulation of keys from our low count of zero.

It was an interesting process leaving town, and I was thinking about keys at that time, too. I had the typical keyring for a two-car-owning, home-owning, working individual. Keys to both cars, with a key to a club antitheft device thrown in. Keys to multiple different locks around the house. Keys to the office. Keys to the mailbox. Probably a few more I am forgetting. And I pretty much didn't leave home without them. How could you? Maybe if you were walking to the corner store and someone else was home to let you in when you got back. So, without even realizing it you have this keychain that goes around with you for most of your waking hours.

You don't notice it until you don't have it anymore.

First one car went. The keys themselves are the most physical aspect to the passing of title. You have to line up each key into the slot in the metal ring and torque them out one by one and hand them over. Next to go were keys to the office. Then the keys to the house. Then at the very last minute the keys to the second car. Friend Tom drove us to the airport and that was it, no more keys. This lasted for a period of weeks, absolutely no keys to anything, until we bought Ruben the car. That's right we have decided on Ruben, which came from someone's suggestion of Ruby and the idea that the car is in fact a boy car. It also happens to be the name of the protagonist of a book I am reading right now called Peace Like a River. Highly recommended.

Back to the keys. I'd have to say handing over the keys to the house was the hardest. And yet there is another element to this process of becoming untethered, and it is the entrance of chance and circumstance into one's life. Objects will be replaced. Why that particular car? Because the lot was next to the grocery store and we were right there. Why that house? The barber told me about it. Such chance is not always welcome.

And sometimes it is.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


I can't wait! I can't wait! I can't wait!!!!!

Boot Camp!

Wow, what a weekend... I'm getting my butt back in shape, that is for sure!

Friday night: 5.5 mile run, including 5 Wilke hill repeats
Saturday morning: 50 mile "easy" (i.e. not so easy as we averaged 16.7mph) Pedal thru the Pines, plus 1 mile run
Sunday morning: 10 mile ride (3 at sprint pace) plus 6 mile run
Specifics on Boot Camp? Check out Dionn's blog - I am too lazy to type it up. :)
Needless to say, the best part was hanging out with my girls!!! (Plus Panther, but, well, you know... Haha...) Seriously, I would never train if it wasn't for them. I might not be able to keep up with them, but at least I know there will always be a margarita (or mimosa, or bud light, or whatever) waiting for me at our post-workout breakfast. That just rocks.


Oh, what have I started? All the girls at my work have fun coats. I have a green one now, too! Too bad we live in Texas, and it's now back in the 70's. Oh well.