Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rachel + Adam

Congratulations to Rachel & Adam Burger-Welldone. (Sorry, that never gets old!) It was a gorgeous wedding, and I was thrilled to be a part of it. I expected nothing less than a fabulous weekend (it helps with the bride is a wedding coordinator), yet it still exceeded my expectations.

I must say, it was great to get away for a few days. Annie & I splurged for a room at the Marriott Coronado for 3 nights, and it was well worth it. We also rented a car (it was so tiny we nicknamed it the Egg) so we could get around easily. Thursday night we had dinner at La Trattoria Fantistica in Little Italy & walked to R+A's adorable condo. Friday morning, I woke up at 5:30 and went for what ended up being a 9 mile run around the island. It was perfect - the houses, the beach, the weather, the eye-candy (hey sailors!)... it was just the run I needed. Then I swam for an hour in the lap pool (!!!) while Annie did yoga. We then headed to the beloved Hash House A Go Go for an incredible breakfast of pancakes and a veggie hash. I gotta say, this place beats Cafe Brazil hands down. We hit the mall so I could take care of the "dress support" issue and then to the rehearsal. Then girl time with our foursome & the rehearsal dinner.

Jenna, Annie & I had put a book together for Rachel - a wedding tradition - and toasted her with a poem. It was a hit! The rehearsal was great - I got to catch up with my long lost Tulsa friends. It always amazes me how you can pick up with people 10 years later and not skip a beat.

Saturday was yoga by the beach, breakfast in downtown Coronado, then a fun day in the bridal suite with Rachel and the girls. By the way, I have never felt as "girly" as I have been this week. A haircut, brow wax, french manicure by Annie, and then smoky eye makeup. I hardly recognized myself! :)

Then - ba da da dah - the wedding was gorgeous. I loved the ceremony... The rabbi's sermon was very meaningful to me - the prayers and teachings were beautiful. I had forgotten so much of what Judaism says about marriage - and I will admit that it was inspired. Also, I'm always inspired watching a bride and groom who so obviously fit together. I am so happy for them.

The reception was great. There were luckily no winners of the "most drunk bridesmaid" contest, though at one point there seemed to be some contenders. ;) I have no shame in admitting that there were certainly hard moments for me - this was my first wedding solo, ever - but thankfully Annie was a fantastic escort. More than anything, spending time with my girls was exactly what I have been needing. I draw strength from reflecting on everything we have been through together, how we support each other, and how our friendship continues to grow as we reach different stages of our lives.

I am feeling refreshed and revitalized and happier than ever for Rachel.

Congratulations R+A. :)

Odd Means of Advertising

Annie & I kept walking by this place called the Burger Joint. What caught our attention was the words used to advertise/decorate this place. Um... I'll let the picture speak for this one.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Packed & Ready

The only reason I brought my laptop with me is because I know I'll be spending plenty of time in the airport. Luckily I have a sprint card on my laptop, so I get free internet anywhere!

Anyway, I made it. (Obviously.) My only hitch was that I didn't realize you can check in up to 24 hours before your flight. I managed to pack, make lunch, get dressed, dry the mass atop my head, do the dishes, clean my house, and load up my shuffle. (yes Maggie, I brought it!) I must look funny sitting here with my pb&banana sandwich, yogurt, and jellybean water bottle. I feel like a little kid on a trip whose mom packed her lunch.

I forgot about the funny people at the airport. (For instance, the man who says "ok" after every digit he types into his phone. And he keeps calling his cruise "the boat." My mom always told me to call it the ship. Anyway...) I vow to not let anyone annoy me this weekend!

I realized that I went to San Diego exactly 5 years ago this weekend! So I was browsing my pictures, and thought I would share these. The first two are Jenna and Rachel at Hash House A Go Go. Does this food not look delicious or what? Rachel's pancake was insane... thus, I'm hoping to convince Annie to go there with me tomorrow morning. :) The third is a reminder of my obsession with Arnold running for governor. I thought the whole things was hilarious, and I made sure to point out every campaign sign that we passed. I bet that wasn't annoying or anything!

Um, anyway... I realize that now I'm just rambling. Oh... my friend Frank just sat down next to me. Small world!! I am going to try and convince him to run with me tomorrow.... hahaha.... sucker... Oh, and he is an A boarder... so it looks like I have a seat mate. Advance check-in be damned! ;)

Life is good today. :) Hope it is for you!


I am leaving for the airport in 2 hours... I REALLY should be packing, but instead I'm updating my i-tunes and blogging.

It's been 1 year, 6 months since I took a "vacation." It's been 1 year, 3 months since I've been on a plane. So traveling is a little rusty for me. (Tell me to drive somewhere and I'm set. I still think I could drive to Houston with my eyes closed.) I have no idea what you can bring on carry on! Do you have to pay to check your bags? What are you supposed to wear to a wedding rehearsal? Or a post-wedding brunch? How am I going to pack my running shoes that are still wet from this morning? Hmmmm....

I have already had 2 "oops" moments. One, I forgot to buy, uh, support to fit under the slinky black bridesmaid dress. Two, and probably more importantly, I forgot to buy the wedding gift. Luckily I will have some time to take care of that stuff! (Sadly, I was more concerned with planning some running routes and remembering my cap/goggles.)

Okay, I could write all day (i.e. keep procrastinating) but I'm going to go pack. Goal: In 20 minutes I'll be done.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I'm such a headcase! I went to the workout last night (of course) and it was great. Go figure. 15 minutes on the bike, 30 minutes of core, 75 minutes back on the bike, 15 minute run. The energy of that room is fantastic (much like D pointed out this morning) - and yesterday was especially exciting since Maggie was there! Dinner after the workout was great as well, and by the time I went home, I was in a much better mood.

Yesterday Chrissie said I was not allowed to do anything this morning. Which, of course, made me want to do something this morning! See? Headcase!!! I resisted and cleaned my house instead. I'll be honest, I've hit vacation mode already. I'm pretty worthless today because my mind is consumed with thoughts of running along the beach and sitting poolside with a frozen beverage. :)

I think this might be my first vacation since last April. I cannot WAIT.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

post race blues?

I'm having a hard afternoon... not sure why. I slept until 8:00am this morning. Missed my swim workout obviously. I really do not want to go to spin tonight. I really really really really really really really don't. Not one bit. I am feeling completely unmotivated today. Not to mention fat, lazy, out of shape and really drawn to taking a nap under my desk.

If I go, I really hope the coaches surprise us with happy hour or something!!!

On a different note, happy birthday Panther! Book your parties with us. *Shrug*

Tuesday, 2:22pm

No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful
Everybody dies frustrated and sad and that is beautiful
They want what they're not and I wish they would stop

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blond Morning

I forgot to mention the stupidest thing I did yesterday.

I wore my tri shorts backwards. (I didn't realize it until I was getting ready to swim.)

Getting dressed at 4:30am is rough. Riding your bike with backwards tri shorts? Much rougher.


Coffee! Yes!!!!!

I was starving during swimming this morning. I ate half a banana before class, but I was still so hungry. The thought of my delicious breakfast norm (kashi go lean, soy milk, frozen berries) pushed me to get out of Courtyard fast! Even better, the thought of coffee. Life is good since I brought a coffee maker to work.

Then, I read this study- Drinking coffee after a workout helps muscles refuel!! ROCK ON!!! I love it when studies come out saying coffee is a good thing. ;)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sweet & Twisted

There were 2 reasons I signed up for Sweet & Twisted. First: T3 peer pressure, a common theme for my races lately. Second: I figured I should do some type of race between July 15 & October 5, and this fit in perfectly.

By the way, when I said that I "reframed" my bad long ride (the one where I got 3 flats and called it a day...) - I reframed by buying myself some race wheels. I've wanted them for a while, and I figured why not just bite the bullet and get 'em. Here they are! So beautiful....

I front loaded my week so I would have time to rest for this race. Not that I planned on a spectacular performance, but I figured that I should at least try to see if my training is paying off. So, my week looked like this: swim Monday am (great!), run Monday pm (really great!), bike Tuesday am (bonk! ugh), bike 75 Wednesday am (great!), swim Thursday am (great!), race wheel test bike Thursday pm (serious bonk again! and on my new wheels - grrrr!), run 13 Friday am (great!), swim Saturday am (serious bonk, as in was about to get out of the pool midway through the workout but for some reason kept going), then rest.

I have felt exhausted all week, evidenced in 3 bonked workouts. I told this to Meredith, and she clued me in to what I suspected. My fuel tank was near empty, and I am not eating enough. (UGH! I feel like I'm eating all the time, and I don't want to gain weight by eating too much. It is a daily battle to figure it all out.) Meredith told me to eat a ton yesterday and gave me a nutrition strategy for this morning. It saved me. I barely felt better by the race start this morning, but the key was I felt better. Meredith was my savior. (THANK YOU, MER!!!!)

Anyway, on to the race. Got to Pace Bend park around 6:30am. I managed to screw up my wheels but luckily Maurice fixed them. Set up transition with the rest of the THIRTY THREE T3 women, took care of business and headed to the swim start with Liz & Blythe. By this time, I counted at least 3 women who would crush me in my age group, mainly Coach Chrissie. I decided my goal would be to beat Blythe, which was pretty ambitious because the girl is fast.

The swim was noneventful. I felt very relaxed and focused on my form. 10:46 for 500m. The swim exit was interesting since I had to grab my flip flops (thank you Charles!) for the 1/4 mile run back up to transition. Squeak squeak I ran!
Hit transition, sat down and had a short conversation with Mo. (Probably should have been paying more attention to moving here. I was taking the Dionn lollygag approach.) Got my bike, maneuvered it over the long gravel road to the mount line, and hopped on.

It took a while to get going on the bike. I felt like a poser in my wheels as I mashed up the first few hills. Finally I settled in and started kicking it. I loved seeing all the volunteers on the course (especially Nedra, Trey, Clarence & Rhonda) and was honestly sad to have to dismount at 14.6 miles. I felt like I was just getting started! My pace ended up being 19.1mph, which was 14th overall. I should be better than this. I'm not saying, I'm just saying - I want to be at the top of the bike ranks.
Back to transition, where I had another conversation with the T3 guys. I was trying to be funny while I changed, but I ended up just looking stupid. :) Then I realized Blythe wasn't back and I needed to move it. The run was hard in that it was on trails and hard to get footing. I stayed steady the whole time, never really pushing it but trying to pick people off along the way. Seeing Jim was a nice boost, then trying to catch up to my fellow T3ers while keeping Blythe behind me kept me moving. I tried to think of Mike's running mantras, which mainly made me laugh, but they helped too. Picked it up on my way to the finish line and crossed with a time of 1:29:00. The run was 27:10, a 8:46/m pace.

I felt great at the end. Probably in that "you didn't work as hard as you should have" way, but whatever. It seemed like a giant T3 party at the finish line. D & I checked our results and learned that she beat me by 1 second. Bad day for her, good day for me. I must have been channeling my inner D, though. Lollygagging in transition, taking it easy on the run, losing valuable seconds... ;)
The awards ceremony was awesome. T3 won the team challenge, and someone in T3 placed in nearly every age group (including Chrissie who won overall and Betty who won masters!) It was so much fun that everyone stayed and cheered... I was so proud to be in T3 blue. The best part for me, thanks to 2 girls in my AG placing in the top 3, was that I snuck in to 3rd place! I couldn't believe it when Joey called out my name! I got an awesome trophy and shwag for placing.
I am so happy with this race. I am so glad to see that my training is paying off!! Some thoughts:
-I feel guilty that I got hardware & D didn't, considering she beat me. I'll keep enjoying my age group for a while!
-I love my wheels. So what if I had to "buy" my way to the podium. :)
-Joining T3 was one of the best training decisions I've made... I miss my old group and coach a ton, but it's obvious to me now that I really need a team to push and motivate me. "Racing" Blythe was awesome, seeing all the T3ers on the course was awesome, my peptalk from Carrie was awesome... You get the point. ;)
-I think Logan and Mo are really helping me learn how to run!
-Red Licorice put on an amazing race. The awards were fabulous - I could barely carry all my stuff when I walked back to my car!
-Speaking of awesome: volunteers Maggie & Joey. Maggie is quickly becoming my number one cheerleader.
I realize that Longhorn is a completely different animal than the sprint tri's I've been doing this year, but I'm gaining confidence. However, for now, I'll spend the rest of my evening enjoying this race.

Busy Weekend!

Before I write my race report, I'll sum up the past few days... go! go! go!!! Friday morning started with a 13 mile run with Myndi, then work, then a few hours at Southpark Meadows waiting for my phone to be fixed (uh... oops), and post-work friend time.

Saturday had me at T3 swim practice at 7:00am (dang, I had really banked on an 8:30 start, but oh well), breakfast with Leslie, Meredith's nutrition seminar at J&A's, then a trip to Dripping Springs for Kerry's Margaritaville party. I have never had so much fun exploring houses as I did with Kerry, Mike & Lindsey. We learned all about Giant houses and Kenyan houses, and we watched Mike karaoke. Afterwards, I watched the men's marathon and was off to sleep.

(This pictures is Mike, me & Kerry hanging out at the Kenyan bar. No one liked the Unicef rice!)

This morning was a 4:30am wake-up call, the Sweet & Twisted Tri, then the film "Baraka" at the Paramount, some mexican food, then finally some down time to unload my car (4 trips!) and open my laptop.

My house is a mess! There are 2 bikes and 5 tires laying in front of my desk, dishes in the sink, bills to pay and laundry to do. I am trying to figure out my schedule this week, but it's one of those crazy ones where I have doctor's appointments, haircuts, etc... during the day and a market research study tomorrow night. And some work too... gotta throw that in somewhere! ;)

I leave for San Diego on Thursday, and I am SO EXCITED!! I've already called the hotel, and it has a lap pool and a gym. Phew ;) Anyway, I'm very excited about a recovery week and getting to see my 3 "growing up together" best friends. It's probably a good idea for me to get away from the obsessive training scene for a few days, too. These girls will be having none of it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A beautiful day for 75...

The rain passed in time to allow Matt, Ben and me to ride a beautiful 75 miles this morning. We left about 6:45 from Ben's house on the east side and rode out to Decker. Then we did the 56 mile Longhorn bike course.

I'm pretty happy with this course. The worst parts are the ones I know best from Danskin & Couples. Other than some rolling hills and lots of chip seal paving, the remaining 44 miles are pretty nice. My favorite street was Monkey Lane. Seriously, even with some hills, who can't love a street called Monkey Lane?

We averaged 18.2 for the 56 miles, so I think that 18mph is a reasonable goal for Longhorn. We were averaging higher until Matt & I diverted the route at mile 48 to get some water. After stopping, it was very hard to get going again, and of course the hardest part of the course is the end. Nutrition was pretty good, though I STILL need to take in more calories. More than anything, I really just enjoyed the ride and the company today. I also thought about going to the track workout tonight until Logan reassured me that I needed rest. Phew! :)

Oh - I'm pleased that I haven't had to use my car today! I've been more productive working at home than I am when I go to the office. Go figure.

next invention

for my next company, i am going to invent a travel mug for cyclists. if only i could take coffee with me this morning... sigh...

and i'm off!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

And... Bonk.

It was bound to happen... And sure enough, this morning I bonked. I went to spin this morning so I could rest my legs the rest of the day, and I couldn't match even the easy cadences. I kept adjusting my trainer, hoping the resistance was too high. It wasn't. Oh well...

Chrissie said it was normal with the training I was doing, so I don't feel too bad. I am seriously worn out. Teaching continuing education today coupled with allergies coupled with the rain... all good reasons why I'm taking tonight off.

Besides, I have company! Karma is staying with me tonight. (I thought it was funny that Mike had to put his bed in this random spot since my bedroom floor is covered with workout clothes.) I love being a dog sitter - what a good excuse to skip a workout. ;)

I think I'll finish up a project I'm working on for Rachel's wedding, work on some GMW stuff, and go to sleep early. Tomorrow looks to be a long day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thanks, D.

Thanks for making me go to my run tonight, D. I didn't want to. I tried every possible excuse as to why I could skip the workout. But you wouldn't let me bail. You said I'd thank you later.

I had a great swim this morning, and then a pretty good day at work... until after lunch, when I decided that taking shelter under my desk would be a perfectly plausible way to spend the afternoon. Let's just say the shore looked really far away today and I was having trouble finding any footing.

This is when I got a "mom talk" from D that basically demanded I go to the specialty run. So I went, and low and behold, I started feeling better. Maurice was coaching which was a change, and I really enjoyed the way he mixed things up. Easy warmup, drills around the track, then down to Possum Trot for hill repeats. Half ironman people were to do 4-5 sets of hill repeats, 1 clockwise + 1 counterclockwise = 1 set. Not sure if it was the cooler temperature or what, but I felt fantastic. I was focusing on form and never felt overly tired. 5 sets - finished strong - and honestly I could have kept going. (What a difference a week makes!)

On the way to the hill start, Kevin asked me why I'm so hard on myself. (Clearly he doesn't know me that well! How else can I be?!) I commented that perhaps it's because I surround myself with amazing athletes. Three of my closest friends are winning 2nd at 25+ mile trail runs with little training, running consecutive 100+ mile weeks and constantly placing top 3 age group. And lest I forget my long lost training partner, who is now entirely too fast for me and wins everything. Or what about someone I once thought somewhat equal in ability, but goes and pulls off an amazing ironman like it's nothing!

I decided to draw inspiration from these friends tonight, and forget being hard on myself. For at least tonight's run, it worked. And I feel 100% better than I did a few hours ago.

So, dang it D... You were right. Thanks.


Saw this in an article recently:

Addicted to that feel-good feeling?

Love something a little too much? You might want to start worrying, says Frederick, if it's helping you mask or avoid underlying feelings, issues, anxiety or discomfort -- "for example," he says, "being overly active, or addicted to working out, as a means to regulate one's anxiety."

Um, is that really considered a problem?!?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

15 miles closer...

Rereading my previous post, I will explain why I didn't feel like yesterday was a good workout.
1) My bike was fine. 18+mph for that far is pretty good.
2) The first 1.5 miles of running were fine.
3) I turned around and wanted to die. I thought, "I'm never gonna be able to run a half marathon. I'm never gonna be able to finish Longhorn. Why am I doing this!?"

That's pretty much it. Whaa whaa... Whatever, moving on. ;)

Today I had 13 miles on the schedule, but planned on doing 15 if I could muster it so I'd get my hardest training week over with. The plan was 2 7 mile loops. How this equals 13 miles is beyond me, but whatever. I started with the pack for the first loop, and managed to keep pace somehow, but remembered after 2 miles that I had a long ways ahead of me. So I backed off, found my pace, and before I knew it I was back at the rock. Checked my watch & saw 1:02 - a 8:51 pace! That is an I35 Loop PR for me. :)

I didn't want to stop for water for fear I'd never start up again, so I kept running. Much to my surprise, I looked to my left and there was Phil! I'd seen him earlier on the trail, and he had run back to catch me and finish out my run. (Little did he know I had 8 miles left!) I was thankful that he kept me company, and he wouldn't let me walk unless we were getting water. Maurice ran next to me for a bit too and helped correct my form. I instantly felt better once I made the corrections, which was very cool. I could only keep it up for short intervals, though, because I was getting tired.

Anyway, I finished out the run in about 2:25, so with many many water stops on the 2nd loop it ended up being a 9:40 pace. I'm pleased with that, considering how hard yesterday was. I guess something I'm doing is working!

Totals for my hardest Longhorn training week:
Run: 5.25 hrs (27 miles)
Bike: 7.75 hrs (120 miles)
Swim: 3.75 hrs (5.5 miles)
Core: 1.25 hrs
Total: 18 hrs (154 miles)

By the way, I know I'll be fine at Longhorn. I won't win, or come even close, but I will have fun out there. I am committed to that.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

5.25hr Saturday

I am so tired. Even after a 2 hour nap, I still feel dead.

Instead of doing my 65 mile ride, I decided mid-ride to make it 75 miles (so I don't have to do that distance next week... unless I want.) I rode mainly with Cindy & Chris, but we caught up with some of the IMAZ group on the way back down Old San Antonio Rd, where I stupidly decided to go faster. Charles put me in my place in seconds, but then I was left going hard all the way back to Mopac. Finished off with an Autobahn loop, Veloway loops and a little extra - overall pace: 18.1mph. Next headed out for a 3 mile "run" with Alisa. Felt great until the turnaround, when I looked down and realized it was noon. And I really wanted to be done. And gosh I smelled horrible. Oh, and I was so thirsty - maybe as thirsty as I have ever been in my life.

My nutrition was good but I don't think I got enough water. 14 hrs w/o needing to visit the bathroom is probably a bad sign. TMI, sorry.

Anyway, I finished it. It's slightly demoralizing to hear how well everyone else did, because I was starting to question my ability to finish Longhorn. It always comes down to the run for me. :(

We'll see... I'm not giving up now! I just hope my legs feel better sometime soon. Tomorrow is gonna be rough!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I am a T2 virgin no more! I walked onto the deck at swim practice and asked Mo where to go. He pointed at the lane Ben was in, so I hopped in. I looked at the workout and saw T2. I thought, phew! Easy! Then I looked at the distance (3150) and realized T2 means hard. Duh! I was nervous about moving up, but I also knew it was time to try it out.

It was a great workout. I was actually pushing it, finally. Mo said he was really impressed when I was done, and of course that made me happy. I'm no Phelps or anything, but I am getting better and that's what matters. It took all of the hour & a quarter time, so I'm not sure I can do T2 in the mornings and make it to work in time... but Thursday lunches are perfect. This workout, plus an hour of spin this morning (which seriously feels like days ago), makes 2.25hrs for the day, 10.25 for the week and the start of my recovery until Saturday. Yay for that!!! :)

Oh, my car battery just about died this morning. Luckily I managed to make it to T3 AND my 7:45am board meeting AND to AutoZone before it completely died... Must have some good karma going.

One more thing: HAPPY BIRTHDAY KERRY!!!! :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Redemption on the Track

Great run tonight! Two things did it for me:

1) I focused on my nutrition today. For those mildly interested it looked like this:
5:30am: peanut butter toast
6:00am: core - 1 hour
8:30am: 1/2 veggie egg white omelet, small serving of hash browns, biscuit (Starseeds... yum!)
10:15am: leftover breakfast - omelet, hash browns, biscuit
11:45am: salad, rice pilaf, steamed veggies, sweet potato chunks, roll
3:00pm: nectarine
4:00pm: oatmeal on the go bar
6:00pm: run - 1.25 hours
All day: about 100 oz of water. (and 3 cups of coffee. ;))

2) GREAT NEWS! Sun & Ski Sports placed an order for Grease Monkey Wipes!! They are also going to promote us at the Hotter than Hell 100 in 2 weeks. I've been working on this account for a looooooong time, but we got an official order today, and big things are in the works. YAY!

Anyway, on to the track workout. 4 laps warmup, drills, 2 laps stride outs, 1 mile time trial (7:06 again), 6 x partner 400's (Jess rocks!), 800m time trial (3:35 - faster, yes!), 2 laps cooldown (which included lots of backwards running - fun!) It was awesome. I love the team camaraderie; for instance, everyone waits until all runners have finished their time trials and cheers them in. It is very motivating and very cool. I also like that the workouts so far are managable. I'm not overwhelmed by them, but they are still challenging.

Tonight Travis asked why I'm so hard on myself about running. The short answer? Because I think I suck at it. The long answer? I don't really think I suck at running. I just wish I was faster... NOW. I know it will come, but I want it NOW. However, I'm practicing patience. I'll take tonight as a little victory.

Now it's time for bed... I've earned lots of sleep tonight!

A little bio...

So, here's a little bio about me that was in the AAFAME newsletter. I'm realizing there are a lot of new people who read my blog, so I thought I'd share a little bit about me (edited for the web, of course.) All of this stuff is out there anyway if you were to type my name in Google.


Erin serves as our Vendor Director and co-chair of the Disaster Preparedness Committee. For the past five years, Erin has worked as the marketing director for [...] She loves being an active member of AAFAME and is also a member of BOMA, IFMA, IREM, CREW along with a number of insurance associations.

A proud Longhorn, Erin went to U.T. Austin and graduated from the business school in 2001. Upon graduation, Erin became the public relations director at a local wind power company and spent a lot of time hanging out on wind farms in West Texas. She was born in Memphis, but she got to Texas as fast as she could! Though she grew up in Dallas, Erin loves Austin and can't imagine living anywhere else in the world. You can usually catch her at one of Austin's local restaurants, coffee shops, parks or art museums. Erin is currently listening to Vampire Weekend, They Might Be Giants, Frank Sinatra and the Cure. If she could have any job in the world, she would either play piano on Broadway or curate at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Outside work, Erin is a self-admitted triathlon addict. She started running in 2003 and hasn't stopped since. Though she swore off marathons after running the 2006 Disneyworld Goofy Challenge - a half marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon on Sunday - she's going to have to do another one because she recently signed up and started training for Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2009. (That's 2.4 miles swimming, 112 biking and 26.2 running.) Her goal is to make it though the 10-20+ hour training weeks, finish the race in the allotted 17 hours, and still have a smile on her face once she's done.

What Erin enjoys most about AAFAME is the ability to be involved in so many aspects of the association while working with genuinely great people. Some of her highlights have been working on the Extreme Makeover and Adventure Quests for Angleheart and participating on the board of directors.


I get it. I get why Chrissie is called Coach Pain. The woman is crazy.

Spin last night was an earthly-modified version of hell. It probably didn't help that I had already been spinning for an hour, but I could barely keep up last night. I had to drop down gears quite a bit, and I couldn't keep cadence for a lot of the workout. It's okay, I stuck with it, even though I wanted more than ever to hop off my bike and crawl into the fetal position. I think sharing looks of pain with Katy helped get me through it.

Then again this morning. Coach Pain put me through the ringer. We split into groups of 3 and would do 6 minute sets, alternating two exercises without rest. Then we'd rotate, but for good measure, we'd do either skiers, jumping jacks, or mountain climbers in between. All of this fun lasted for a good hour, which was about all I could take.

I unloaded so many "used" workout clothes from the car this morning in hopes that the lingering stench will go away. It hasn't. Might be time for some mold remediation, mold remediation. :)

I am so thankful that Coach Pain is not coaching track tonight. Not that Logan is much better...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hello Monday!

I said I wasn't going to let that botched ride get me down, and I didn't. I considered riding Saturday afternoon, until I stepped outside and realized I wanted NOTHING to do with being outside. :) Instead, I finally made it to the Arthouse's 22 to Watch exhibit... love that place!!! Also went to Women & Their Work, which has a pretty good show right now. I'm really trying to get back into "art" mode... I'm almost embarrassed at how little I see lately.

Sunday morning, I met Elizabeth & Betty at Barton Springs for a 10 mile run. It was fun to run away from the trail (we did Exposition to 35th to Lamar and back), and I felt really good. This was of course thanks to some cooler temperatures and fresh legs. Then, Elizabeth & I swam at Barton Springs, and I got my butt handed to me! That girl can swim!! I tried and tried to stay in her draft (which was sadly her "easy swim draft") but I couldn't hang. It ended up being quite the workout, though. I went home and slept for 2 hours!

I spent the rest of Sunday running errands and finishing up some uber-dorky projects. Nothing too exciting, but a wonderful day none the less. I am pleased to say I was in bed by 9:00, asleep before 10:00... all so I could start the week at 4:30am...

I'm glad to be back in a place where I don't dread Mondays anymore. Hello Monday!!

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Dang it. I know better... don't write about something that hasn't happened yet because I'm bound to jinx it.

The schedule: 55 miles (and a 30 minute run)
The actual: 22 miles, 3 flat tires, 1 girl covered in grease, 2 awesome T3 white knights, and a sag pickup from Maggie

Thanks, Parmer, for the giant gash in my tire. Oh well, everyone has bad bike karma days, and I am fine with today being mine. I'd write something about how I'm glad this is happening now... but I don't want to jinx anything... Anyway, thank goodness for Jim, who was my savior and saw through my "tough girl/I can fix this!" ways. After some convincing, he finally left me after my third flat, which is when Maggie, my guardian angel, came to the rescue and picked me up.

As Betty said, I needed to take that as a sign. A giant billboard sign. Enough riding for the morning. So... breakfast at Taco Deli, followed by a very very very expensive trip to Jack & Adam's, and I'm good to go.

(I'm not even in a bad mood about it. Nothing can ruin this fantastic week for me!)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Catching Up

As promised, my week's recap...

After really enjoying some rest last week, I had 15.5 hours on my T3 schedule to look forward to this week. On Sunday afternoon, I sat down with my handy spreadsheet and figured out how I would meet 15.5 hours of workouts. So far, it's gone like this:

Monday AM: 2800m @ Courtyard. This was a great swim and I felt very strong, thanks to taking the previous day off. I'm still in the T1 lane, but I ended up leading it at the end.

Monday PM: specialty run @ O'Henry. It was brutally hot, so we modified the workout to make it shorter. 2 warmup loops around the school, drills, 1 lap of 2 strideouts, 3 100% effort hill repeats up Possum Trot, 2 cooldown loops, 15 minutes of core. This was a fantastic run... the hill repeats wiped me out, but I could FEEL myself running faster than I expected. It's runs like these when I know I have the "fast capability" in me if I can just muster through the pain. Overall - AWESOME workout.

Tuesday AM: 2750m @ Lost Creek. Same workout as Monday, and Mo said I have lost my "flick!" Excellent. I showered quickly at LC and put on a t-shirt... it took me until I got to work to stop sweating, and then I decided to get dressed for the day.

Tuesday PM: bike @ T3 Compound. Schedule called for 2 hours, so I got there early. The workout was tough, but I made it and felt very strong at the end. I was using the very first samples of PureSport that Dean gave me in 2007 when I did my first cycling study. I hadn't used it yet because I couldn't figure out what it was - but low and behold it's the stuff we are encouraged to use now. Let me tell you, the stuff works.

Wednesday AM: core @ T3 Compound. I was asked halfway through if the class was comparable to the J&A's coreture class. I said it was easier... and then got my a$$ handed to me when Chrissie made us do a straight 6 minute set of core. I did more planking in this class then I ever expected... and will keep my mouth shut about J&A's! We listened to Michael Jackson the entire class, which was, uh, interesting.

Wednesday PM: quality run @ O'Henry. It actually felt cool out, which was awesome. 4 warmup laps, drills, 2 strideouts (I told Jess I finally figured out why they were called stride outs. DUH. Yes, my hair is naturally blond). 5 x 1000 repeats alternating 10k & 5K pace, 2 cooldown laps. Repeats were something like 5:05, 4:45, 5:01, 4:36, 5:00. Logan stopped me after the 2nd repeat to work on my form... and it worked. I love that he is being extremely specific on teaching me how to run... it's tiring to do, but I know it will pay off.

Thursday AM: bike @ T3 Compound. I was supposed to do a 2 hour ride, but I couldn't bring myself to stay on when everyone else got off. Regardless, the workout rocked. I made my resistance harder than Tuesday to be sure I was working, and I still met all my cadences. I'm really working on staying in the aero position - I get tired there pretty easily, but I know I will need to be comfortable in it. It's amazing how 90-100 rpm seems hard at first, but by the end of class 90-100rpm seems like recovery. Classes are working!

Thursday lunch: 2750 swim @ Lost Creek. I debated getting in T2, but chickened out and stayed in T1. During our main set of 6 x 150s - Suzanne told me I need to swim in T2. I'm excited about that (I need people to push me in swimming, I never feel like I work that hard) but I'm also nervous. I think I'll stay in T1 on Monday morning and see what Chrissie says after class. Apparently my stroke is looking pretty good, minus my lack of rotation and left flinging arm. :)

Friday: OFF! YAY!!!!!!! I LOVE RESTING!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow I have a 55 mile ride (Lost Creek to 360 to Parmer - yuck) and a short run; Sunday I have a 10 mile run and a Barton Springs swim. I'm actually very excited about both of these workouts.

I've been aiming to be in bed by 9:00pm every night. It's worked out okay... I'm at least getting more than 5 hours of sleep which helps. I'm also eating pretty well and staying hydrated.

I told Elizabeth on Monday that this week was going to be fantastic. Not just in training, but all around. It has been. To reference an earlier post, the jumping into the river isn't so bad. In fact, I quite like the life boat I've created.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


I've been told that I am not posting enough lately. Uh, sorry about that. :) I should REALLY be asleep right now, but for some reason the fact that I don't have to work out tomorrow morning is giving me no reason to go to sleep.

I will go to bed soon, but first... I just want to report that my calves and feet hurt. Dang it. I stretched tonight... spent some time with the TP ball... but they still hurt. To be honest, my feet hurt in some form or fashion all the time. My calves are usually pretty tight. But today my right leg completely cramped up and hasn't fully recovered yet.

Tomorrow is my off day. I shall stretch. And stretch. And stretch. And blog. ;)


Quick Thought...

I really miss writing notes - as in the notes we wrote in junior high. I always looked forward to passing notes between classes and finding out some new secret or something cool. Or, just seeing how my friends had managed to turn a piece of notebook paper into a house or an arrow. And there was always that one friend (right Leslie?) who could do something totally cool like make a swan or something!

Anyone want to write me a note? I promise I'll write you back!

Do you like me? Check __ Yes or __ No.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Envy Be Gone!

I subscribe to some pretty cool business blogs, and occassionally I read a post that really makes sense. Thought I would share this latest one from "On the Job: 45 Things."

The whole post is here, but below are five suggestions for living a more enjoyable, envy-free life. (My favorite? This too shall pass...)

1. Make a list of things you enjoy. If it's gardening, riding your bike, playing music, whatever -- the point is to find something that you like doing and then focus your energies on finding other people who feel the same. By joining a gardening club, for example, your self esteem can be boosted when you become a key player in raising money for that group. By experiencing success in something that matters to you, your self esteem will grow in all areas of your life, including at work.

2. Sometimes bigger is not always better. Americans like big. They like big cars and big burgers and big titles. But it's OK if you don't thrive in a big group. It's perfectly fine if you would rather swim in a small pond. Maybe you got a job with a Fortune 100 right out of school, but now find you are consumed with doubts and depression. You might find that working in a smaller organization doesn't give you the big money and prestige, but you'll be a whole lot happier in a smaller group where your status isn't in the sub-zero range.

3. Let go of the shame. I think one of the worst parts of envy is the shame that goes along with it. We know we shouldn't feel the way we do, but that doesn't stop the unkind thoughts about colleagues creeping up on us at 3 a.m. The next time you feel ashamed of the way you feel, stop and say: "OK, I know I'm envious that Joe makes more money than me. That's a concern, but not something I'm going to focus on." Instead, you use it as motivation to make a new client really happy so you can make the boss really happy -- and that could net you a raise. See how you re-frame the situation so that you let go of the shame and instead use it as motivation?

4. Be careful what you wish for. Recently, I was in a very ritzy neighborhood, and the person showing me around would point to a house and say: "The owner killed herself. So did her son." Then, he'd point to another house: "That man died alone. Kids have been fighting over the estate for 10 years." Talk about sad! When your self esteem is being battered, consider what it is you're really after. More money? A different job title? A top project? Then ask yourself: Do you want those things to make you happy, or just to be able to compare yourself to someone else? Will those "things" really make you happy for the long term?

5. This, too, shall pass. After I was on the "Today" show last year, I sat next to a woman on the plane who had just spent a week with a man she had met through an online dating service. I told her about my "Today" show appearance, and how I was hoping that it helped my book sales. The woman, about 60-years-old, was a successful commodities broker. She smiled at me and said: "As you get older, you'll find that stuff doesn't matter. What you want is to find someone to share your life with." She went on to tell me that she'd been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and was hoping to find a man to share a loving relationship with for the time she had left. In an ironic twist, she discovered the man she had just spent the week with also had been diagnosed with Parkinson's.This woman has been in my thoughts ever since. I've talked to many older workers since then, and they all have the same attitude: Envy and job status take up too much time and energy that they'd rather spend doing something else.

Grease Monkey Boxes

Yay!!! Our boxes are here, our boxes are here. Each day we are more and more a real company. We're getting picked in more stores and have some big things in the works. We've secured our first team sponsorship- Big Pig Racing Team. I know I don't usually post business stuff on my blog, but I'm excited. If you are interested, you can keep up to date with us at our Kong Blog, HERE! :)

Shameless Plug: Maybe you've been waiting to buy some wipes, or a t-shirt perhaps? Well, how about a discount for ya... go to the website HERE & use the coupon code MYSPACE.

Seriously, I KNOW you want some Grease Monkey Wipes. I just know it...

Monday, August 04, 2008


Ever had one of those Mondays where you are ready to take on the world?! Well, I can't exactly say that's where I am this morning... but I'm closer than usual. I got through last week surprisingly well... phew...

Anyway, when I leave my house every weekday at 5:00am and don't return until late evening (sometimes after 9 or so) - it takes a very concentrated effort to maintain a clean living space, eat well, take care of household stuff, and manage to sleep. (Add trying to operate a second business in there, too. You know, just for fun. ;)) So this weekend I decided to relax and regroup...
Friday afternoon, after a much needed nap, I knocked out the grocery store, had an awesome dinner, cleaned up the house, and packed for Saturday. Saturday, after an early ride (yay easy week! only 30 miles!), I met Leslie for a near 2 hour breakfast, then spent the whole afternoon with Maggie. It was awesome - we went for an easy swim, then ran errands all over town. It was great to have some company and spend time with her. Sunday, I volunteered at Jack's Generic Tri (granted, all I did was stand in the swim chute and watch people run by), then headed back home for an almost 3 hour nap. Spent the rest of the day cleaning, cutting up some healthy snacks for the week, and working on my robots.

Robots, eh?! Well, it's no news at all that I am a giant dork. But this may top it. I was inspired by an artist I like to make these little guys... After $25 at Hobby Lobby, I had all the stuff I needed... and ta da... robots!! Once I find a saw, I'll be able to give them legs and they'll be done. I love them. It's the little things, okay? ;)
So, on to this week. Because I finally caught up on some sleep, and I've managed to organize my schedule to fit in work, 16 hours of training, and some friend time - I'm thinking this week is going to rock.
"Robots!!" Hehe....

Friday, August 01, 2008

lost pic...

I just found this picture on Panther's PR Project blog, and I wanted to post it because I think it's a great picture. None of us train with that group right now, but it doesn't mean we don't still love its members. People change and grow and that is the way life is. But love doesn't go away. (I am not sure why I feel the need to say that, but I do.)