Monday, June 30, 2008


I can't get enough sleep lately. I just looked at my computer clock and it is 11:15pm. WHY OH WHY am I awake right now? Why can't I just go to bed?! I seriously can't seem to get to sleep before 11:00 at all anymore, and that doesn't bode well for my 5:00am wake-up calls.

There is a lot I want to post about, but I'll end on a positive.

Tonight I gave each of my dogs a sock that I had worn during the Urban Assault. The bottoms of each sock were black, even after undergoing a hard core wash cycle. There was no saving them, so I offered one each to Olive and Violet, who both quickly became completely territorial yet completely amused. I have never seen 2 happier dogs in my life. Olive laid on her back, her 2 front paws outstretched, and threw the sock from paw to paw, pausing only to catch it in her mouth and shake it all around. It's the little things... in this case, a dirty sock. :)

Shutting down in 3...2...1... Goodnight!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sober Psychobabble

I just want to say that I am seriously tired of hearing myself talk lately. I seem to be spouting out the most random psychobabble ever. I stop myself halfway through and think, "am I really saying this out loud?" and yet I can't stop talking.

This is nothing like Dionn's "Drunk Psychobabble" which usually makes sense. (Or at least has a strange persuasiveness about it.)

Nope, it's just nonsense. So... please feel free to call me out now. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
-the meaning of life,
-things dating back to your childhood,
-the past versus the future, and
-anything in which i use the words "extraordinary! possibilities!"

Consider yourself warned.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Urban Assault Pictures

Michelle not only served as secret spy, but she served as our official photographer & GMW promoter at Urban Assault. She rocks! And the pics....

Pre Race: Austin Duathletes Represent!
Kerry & me with the JBs. As if the ever stood a chance against us!
Here is the first wave at the start. The second secret clue, which led us the Austin Nature Center. REI: BMX Jousting. Somehow we were pros at this.
This bike was just a bit small!
Here is what the finish looks like... It felt awesome!
After Kerry & I calmed down, we reconfirmed how awesome we are together. Second place, baby!!! Go Team S.L.O.W. aka Grease Monkey Girls!!!
Free Keen Shoes - about $100. Bragging rights - priceless!!
The Kong Concepts Street Team rocked it! Go Grease Monkey Wipes!!!
What an awesome race.... Thanks again, Michelle (on the streets) & Mike (on his couch).

Monday, June 23, 2008


(Channeling my inner Kerry...) "Take a good look, because this is the last time you'll see me 'til the finish line."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Urban Assault Race Report

From last year's Urban Assault Race Report:

"Female only team... Looks like you're... Fourth." UGH!!! Rather than be excited, Lulu and I were pissed. We wanted second (or third). Not that we're competitive or anything! :)

I love Urban Assault. This is such a fantastic way to get in a good ride, bond with my dear friend Kerry, put my Austin map skills to good use and strive for top placing. I was more nervous this year than last year since I knew what to expect; I also didn't feel as prepared as last year. But I did know that the only way we'd have a chance to win this thing was to truly act like we were going to win it. And so we did.
Trash talking started Thursday night. Then came the "visualisation exercises" where Kerry & I acted out our win for Charlie. Yesterday we told Josh that we were so excited to get the red cruiser bikes (the grand prize). Last night we advertised how awesome we were. (By the way, this new "I'm a Badass/Trash Talker" is completely Kerry's influence over me!)
Anyway, on to the race. We arrived around 7:30 - racked our bikes in a good spot - chatted with friends - then lined up in the first wave for our 8:10ish start. The horn blows, mass chaos insues as hundreds of people, most in cloppy bike shoes, run under First Street to transition. Upon getting our bikes, I got stuck in a mass bottleneck of letting people out... finally get on my bike and Kerry and I are off. Things are feeling good.
First Stop: Rogue Equipment on East 5th
This was American Gladiators as Roguers wearing inner tubes tried to prevent us, also in inner tubes, from getting 4 balls from a basket. Trey tried to run into me, but I just yelled "Trey? WTF!" Then Steve tried to get me, to which I yelled "Sisson! Stop it, damn it!" By this point, the brilliant Kerry had already gotten four balls and we were done. Theme for the day: Kerry rocks at checkpoints.
Second Stop: Secret Checkpoint on 43rd/Duval
We were looking for some weird looking dude, and I pulled up to a homeless guy on a park bench asking if he was the clue. He was not. Oops. Around the corner we find a guy in a tutu, afro and fairy wings. His clue: Find the bike shop closest to the "Hi How Are You" wall.
Third Stop: Ozone on Guadalupe
Charlie & Coop were here to cheer us on, as well as Michelle. There was a line, but not nearly like last year. We waited for about 5 minutes before attempting to pick up bottle caps while wearing oven mitts and getting sprayed with water guns. Again, Kerry rocked this challenge. She is skilled with the bottle caps... who knew? ;) This took a while, but by the time we left, the line was already twice as long as when we had arrived. This went so much better than last year.
Fourth Stop: Secret Checkpoint at Austin Bikes
Kerry takes a pic and sends it to Mike, Dionn & Tim. Apparently it isn't a good pic. Doh. Michelle is just standing there saying, "I don't know. Sorry." That's when we start getting bitchy. (Sorry Michelle!) We don't wait around, though, and we take off back towards 24th Street.
Fifth Stop: Pease Park
We drop our bikes near the road, run into the park, and proceed to walk on small kegs to a faraway cone. I was awful... I fell over the minute I stepped on. I threw off my shoes and proceeded to go very slowly down to the cone and back. Then we head to the human wheelbarrow, where I hold myself up on a handcycle, wrap my legs around Kerry's hips, and she pushes me around. I'm sure the pictures here will be just lovely. Once I figured out how to position myself, this wasn't too bad at all. Two obstacles in one, done. We run towards our bikes. I then run past my bike because I didn't recognize it. Granted, it was only one of two there. I think I was starting to lose it here.
Sixth Stop: REI
After taking our awesome little shortcut on the trails, we are greeted with BMX bikes. Kerry is supposed to ride while I balance myself and use a joust to pick up rings on cones. I can't even coorinate myself onto the back of the bike, so we switch. Somehow I'm able to ride it, and Kerry is a pro at the joust. We're done in seconds, again get frustrated at Michelle because she doesn't know the clue (sorry!) and then head off down 6th street.
Seventh Stop: Rowing Docks on Stratford
This checkpoint rocked!!!! We had to jump in town lake (with a life jacket) and swim out and back around a bouy. With a keg. Hell yeah!! I swam side stroke, while Kerry clipped hers to her back. We rocked it. Kerry got slightly distracted by an open cooler, but overall this was a quick and easy checkpoint.
Eight Stop: Austin Nature Center on Stratford
At this point, our clue solving team had figured out the third clue. I got a little lost here navigating through the center, but again - Kerry is a pro and we arrive to get our next and last clue.
Ninth Stop: Bicycle Sport Shop on Lamar
We'd already decided that Kerry is better at bike handling skills, so she gets on a bike and throws newspapers at me while I try to catch them in a box. We screw this up for a few laps, but then she calms down and throws like a champ. Since the TV show Downtown is filming, I have to try and look good, and I start catching like a champ. Then I make stupid gestures at the camera. This was a fun one.
Tenth Stop: Jack & Adams on Barton Springs
I suck at Bike Limbo. That's all there is too it. And again, Kerry is a champ. We had to ride our bikes under a short limbo pole without it falling off. Kerry does it in one try. It takes me four, and I am getting very frustrated at this point. Looking back, this is the part where we were the bitchiest of all. Kerry is frustrated that we can't get the secret clue info out, I am yelling on the phone at Mike, Kerry is yelling at me to calm down, and we all yell at Michelle. (Another theme for the day!) We tell Michelle to take care of it, and head off down Riverside. This had to be one of Kerry's most brilliant moments, because only about a hundred feet down Riverside (a great re-route), does she figure out our final secret clue and we are able to renavigate in seconds. Serious moment of brilliance here!
Eleventh Stop: Pure Austin on 5th
I lose Kerry. Oops. And then I can't find the checkpoint. I think Kerry was shouting more expletives at me than I ever want to know. "This is why we #%(*#% stay together, ERIN!" Uh, sorry!
Twelth Stop: Jo's on South Congress
After some annoying detours around Congress and realization that our legs are nearly dead, we arrive to ride miniature bikes back and forth across the parking lot. And I mean mini. Somehow we manage, get our last bead and take off. Here is where I almost ran into a car and pulled a very death-defying halt. Why, oh why, did that stupid car not GO when the light turned green!? Oh well, we hit the green lights back to Runtex and all was well...
Final Stop: Runtex Riverside
Kerry had this idea to bypass the horseshoe and enter transition where we exited. It was closed. So we threw our bikes over the fence, and Kerry actually hoisted me over. I was too short to climb, so I grabbed on to her and she pulled me through. There were only a few bikes in transition, so I was feeling good - mad that we didn't win, but good that we were finishing well. I asked a volunteer, "first female team?" and got "I think so!" Yes!! Took off our bike shoes, "ran" in our socks back to Runtex, rode tricycles through a course, climbed up the inflatable tower, down a slide into a pool, then threw our bag of beads onto the table.
"Put them on the chain!!" Ah! We struggled to put the beads on the chain. Our hands were shaking... and then... the next female team came from no where and layed down their completed chain. Seriously. That then made us... that's right...second. And this is where we let out a giant "F*#$!!!" (And then a "I'm sorry" because there were tons of kids around. Again, doh!!)
So, we got second place female team. After some venting and stomping and yelling, we congratulated the winners and then decided to go home and shower/change. We were trying to get in the mindset that second was good. Reframe... reframe!!
After showering and getting some water (I was parched; both my bottles had fallen out before checkpoint one, we both felt a lot better. Our friends who we'd bet with sent us a text message and said, "where are you? Beers getting cold." I responded with a, "You're done already? Woah!" Hehe... tricky! The best part was walking up to them post race completely showered and changed and seeing their faces of "Oh." :)
Anyway, we ended up winning a free pair of shoes from Keen and some socks. We also got to promote Grease Monkey when we went on stage. And we still have something to strive for next year... The pressure is on, first place female next year! And those winner cruisers still look mighty appealing.
Thanks to our team on the street and behind their computers. Sorry we were so bitchy. :) Of course, I personally couldn't have placed so well or had so much fun if not for Kerry. Yet again, we made an awesome team.
1300 People. Second Place Female. Ninth Overall. Not bad for a Sunday morning. :)

Friday, June 20, 2008


I have been waiting and waiting to post about this. It is such a huge part of my life, and I wanted to make a really awesome announcement on my blog. I think I didn't say anything because I didn't fully believe it was real... or I didn't want to say anything until we had some type of proof that this was more than just a (time & energy consuming) evening project.

But today.... I can say that WE DID IT. Kerry, Tim & I started a new company called Kong Concepts, and our first product is here. Not only are they here, but they are in a retail store. They are being sold online. And they are being promoted all over the country!

I AM SO EXCITED TO INTRODUCE GREASE MONKEY WIPES!!!!!!!!!!! These are individually packaged degreasing hand wipes that are perfect for cleaning up when you get dirty from a ride.

I am too excited to type everything up right now... so I'll let the links do the work.


WE ARE SELLING IN JACK & ADAMS!!!!!! Check out our BLOG!!!!!


I will be posting much more soon... and asking for help, too... but now you know my big news!! :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kill the Curls!

There is certainly something very empowering about making a change in your life. Whether big or small, taking steps (or even just one step) in a new direction often takes a lot of courage. But the payoff is usually worth it.

About a month ago, I decided to make a change. Guys who read my blog - feel free to stop reading now. :) A month ago, I decided to permanently straighten my hair. No more curls anymore!!! I hated my curly hair. There was maybe one day a month when I could make it look okay, but otherwise it was just a nuisance. The fact that I had to schedule workouts around how much time it would take to brush the tangles out of my hair was pretty absurd. Considering I often shower twice a day, my hair really does become an issue.

I also felt really self-conscious about it. I like things that are neat and orderly, and as anyone with curly hair knows - having an uncontrollable mane on top of your head does not make one feel very neat and orderly!

So... I took the plunge and killed the curls. I am happy to say that I could not be more thrilled. I no longer have to blowdry my hair! And if I do, it hardly takes any time at all. Second to Lasik, this was the best thing I have ever done to change something about myself. It was scary, but I am so glad I did it.

See.... straight hair!! YAY!!!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Dork I am. But I am a Trinkie Dork. :)

By the way, what's my deal with BLUE lately. Hmmmmmmm..... ;) Hmmmmmmmmm......

I Tried...

Today I remembered to check my Danskin pictures. I'm not trying to revisit bad memories, I promise. I am merely commenting on my photos.

As much as I hate these pictures, I certainly can tell a lot about my race. Here I am looking at my watch after the swim. I can feel my disappointment at my time oozing from this picture. Seriously, why didn't it occur to me that the swim was long?!
Oh wait, I'm on my bike. I'm happy again. Of course. ;)
Oh no, I have to run now. At least I'm not walking like the lady behind me! In typical Erin fashion, my arms are flailing all over the place here. (The more I'm photographed and videotaped, the more I realize that I have very little control over my arms. I'm serious, watch me swim. It's very entertaining. As long as you're not me.)
I tried to smile, honestly. But again, it just wasn't happening for me. I usually attempt some type of goofy gesture during a race... and this was my lame attempt. Hook 'Em! ;)

And finally, I've come a long way in the past 3 years. When I took this picture at the finishline of my first tri, I had no idea what was in store for me. I'm glad to say that it has been a blast. And it's only just beginning.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

On hold...

Haha, this Garfield Minus Garfield rocks. It perfectly describes the afternoon... I have been on hold with CCR for quite some time now, trying to figure out why my company is registered twice to be a government vendor. The government is tricky... they won't let you press "0" and bypass all the the talking and the menus. No, they make you listen to every stinking option possible before you can move on. It's like online defensive driving. What should take 5 minutes is dragged out unnecessarily just because. Grrrrr!!!
At least I wisened up about 15 minutes ago and put the call on speakerphone, rather than cricking my neck with the phone wedged to my head. I knew I should have used the girl's room before I called. In fact, I'm kind of surprised the government doesn't play sounds of running water for their hold music... Yet...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nothing Half About It...

Just got this in an email from one of my clients. I thought it was pretty insightful.

"There’s nothing ½ about the Longhorn Half Iron.

Swimming 1.2 miles, then Biking 56 miles, and put some frosting on the cake with a little Run for 13.1 miles.

I bet you won’t be just ½ tired afterwards.

You have 115 days to go! : )

Monday, June 09, 2008

And... reframe!

I ended up having a very nice Sunday. After the race, D & I had a great lunch; then I ran errands, caught up with Katie, went to the library, took a nap and met up with people at Wahoo's before the Cure concert. I loved the concert... The music was great, the energy was great and the venue was great. Once we eventually found a spot where we weren't experiencing ponytail whiplash or Rod Stewart's obnoxious twin, I had no complaints.

So, about this reframing. I just want to get it in writing before I go to sleep. (Which I need to do quick, it's almost 1:00am!)

Today's race was actually pretty good. I swam fine and biked great. I had poor nutrition and a poor mental running attitude, but I can work on that stuff. This time last year, I mentally gave up on training and started a very long off season. This year, I'm just getting started. That's pretty cool!

However, the 2 coolest things that happened today regarding Danskin. First, I ran into a colleague of mine who was cheering for her sister. She introduced me to her mom as, "Erin - the one who inspired us to get into all of this." I love being an inspiration when possible.

And speaking of inspiration, I am so proud of my dad!!! Today he decided to honor & support me by doing the same bike and swim distances at the gym. He biked 12 miles then did a 5k on the treadmill. I'm so proud of him!!! I've mentioned before how my dad has turned into a gym rat/athlete, and I couldn't be prouder. He won't admit it yet, but someday we'll be doing a half marathon together. I feel it.

Anyway, reframing begins... now! Good morning, Monday!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Danskin Report

I debated ignoring that this race happened, and thus not posting anything about it. But since I just did a mini recap in an email to some friends, I thought I'd cut & paste. Here it is.

I had a few issues. First, the swim course was long so I was really discouraged by my time when I saw it. That was demotivating.

Two, I didn't actually get to inflate my tires, and I was nervous about the bike and the hills, so I didn't fully push it there either.

Three, I gave up once I came back to T2. I walked (a long way) to my rack, then sat down before I started to "run." Which is a loose term, as my pace was a phenomenal 9:50. Yes, that's right. A 9:50. And that includes all of the many times I walked, and reflects my frustration at all the people with "27" on their calves running past me after I had killed them on the bike. (2nd best in my AG) F%$&ers. I hate running. Ugh. (By the way, if Stephanie hadn't run with me up the hill, I would have walked the last 1/2 mile. Pathetic!! Thanks for pulling me, Steph.)

Fourth, I had a bad song in my head. "Friday I'm in Love." That is not a motivational fast song. I tried to get "Down Together" by Roger Clyne into my head, but it wasn't happening.

Finally, I didn't eat. Or drink. Oops. Apparently you need energy to get through one of these things. Doh.

Final results: 14/291 in my age group & 103/2592 overall. I missed being in the top 100 by seconds. UGH!!!! The good news... I have lots of room to grow. And I took 11 minutes off my first Danskin time.

I'm ridiculously tired now for having raced just a sprint tri. Yet, I'm leaving to go get new running shoes at Rogue. Running shoes. Go figure.

*Picture Update!*

D & Me before the race. Look, I was practicing smiling!! :)

This summed up how I felt about the race. Rather than bike downhill to get my flipflops post race, I just left my bike in the middle of the road. D just laughed at me, saying that this scene perfectly reflected my mood.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Danskin, for real this time...

Thanks for all the comments on my Danskin post. Honestly, it was kind of a joke and I probably should have written it more like it happened:

"I don't wanna do Danskin. I am so tired and my heart isn't in it."
"That's okay, just focus on doing one thing really well. Kick butt at just one thing. Like the swim, or your transitions, or... smiling. Hahaha."
"Okay, thanks a lot. Your advice is to focus on smiling?!"
"Yeah! Or, you could focus on frowning. Just kick butt at it!"

Anyway, I repeated the conversation after a miserable swim in Barton Springs and an even more horrid 4 mile run. (Seriously, I think crawling might have been a faster means of getting around the lake than my running this morning.) I signed up for Danskin excited to see how I've progressed since 2005. This was my very first triathlon, and at the time - I was thrilled with my performance.

I've put too many hours, too much effort, too much money (!) and too much energy into training not to have improved significantly. But again, I'm just not feeling it. Other than today, I have skipped every bike and run workout this week. I'd much prefer to sleep. I have been so tired and unmotivated. I'm trying to change my attitude about racing, but it's not working.

By the way, I started Crossfit at Rogue this week. It's kicking my butt. Two mornings of endless squats, lunges, plyometrics, sprints, etc... - my body is NOT used to that whatsoever. Smart thing to do the week before a race, right?!

So, time to REFRAME!!! I am officially relieving myself of the pressure to kick ass on Sunday. I'm going to have fun out there. I'm going to enjoy how far I've come, relish the memory of my first triathlon and support the other women out there. For that, I am excited about Sunday. This is going to be fun.

Bring on the smiles!

Nice work, Google!

I was so excited to see this image for today's Google logo. I usually don't pay much attention to how it changes every day, but this one instantly caught my eye. You can't miss that little girl (Infanta Margarita), and then the painter looking out us. It's Diego Velasquez's Las Meninas, of course!

HOW COOL IS THIS? I have spent so many hours studying this painting. I loved debating about the king and queen in the background, whether they are looking in a mirror, or reflected in the canvas... All of figures in this painting are fascinating to study (especially the dwarfs and the mastiff), and Velazquez himself was fascinating. Then there's the discussion about reality versus illusion, and then Velazquez showing the Order of Santiago... I could go on and on.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my excitement about this. Carry on!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


I'm doing the Danskin Triathlon on Sunday.

It's been a hard week, I'm exhausted, and I don't really want to race. "A friend" with a lot of widsom told me just to focus on one thing. So I'm going to focus on....

Smiling. A lot. (Or frowning. If that's how the day looks.)

Yes, that's it. I hope to install the basket and ribbons on my bike later this afternoon. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

At Work...

Some people use their webcams for good, others for evil, and some... (a very few, I suspect) use them to entertain their friends during the day. Check out what Kerry & I have been up... we call them the Cubicle Chronicles.

And, in case you ever wondered what I look like when I work at the office... here I am! I know, I look so excited!!! I usually have my body twisted in some strange contortion, and the space heater is always blasting at my feet.

(I know this blog post is lame. I have much more to write about, but I am really lazy. Sorry!)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Adventure Quest

Yesterday was the second annual AAFAME Adventure Quest. Two years ago, this race was just an idea between my friend Robert (also the AAFAME president) and me as a way to do a new community services event. We talked about doing a 5K, but decided instead to do an amazing race/urban assault event because it focused on fitness but was also fun. We also wanted to take advantage of our unique ability to access most of the buildings downtown. (I am lucky to have a job where I can work on events like this; most of the committee are current/potential clients, but I feel instead like I get to work with my really good friends.)
Fast forward to yesterday, and I'm thrilled to report that our second race was a huge success. We doubled the number of participating teams, added some awesome new checkpoints to the course and most importantly, raised over $7,000 for the Angleheart Children's Shelter.
All of this is great, of course, but personally I was most impressed with the support I received from my friends yesterday. I counted 14 of them out there, either racing or volunteering or just coming out to support the event. All of them are very busy, with training or work or their kids... but they still came out. I am so appreciative. Thank you, guys.
By the way, a big congrats to Nedra & Mike, who (even after running 12 miles) took first place!