Sunday, September 28, 2008

6 hours...

I trained for a total of 6 hours last week.

Swam twice (2600m on Monday am, 3700m today)
Biked once (25 miles yesterday - essentially an easy gab session with Laura)
Ran thrice (?!) (5 miles Thursday, 4 miles Friday, 3 miles today)

I think the amount of sleep I got added up to about 6 hours, too. Good taper stuff here!!!

Honestly, I don't care. I'm wrapping up the week with a huge smile on my face.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Interbike. WOW.

Warning: my Interbike / Vegas trip post is long. With 2 hours in the airport, I have a lot of time to write. I tried to add as many pics as possible to make it somewhat interesting. :) I also realize that my writing is lacking... that may be the result of an average of 4 hours of sleep per night. Sorry about that!

ANYWAY... I had no idea what I was in for when the Grease Monkey Wipes team decided to attend Interbike. Honestly, I had no idea what Interbike was. I can sum it up in one word. WOW.

First, let me give the most huge thanks to Jack Murray & the rest of the J&A team (Stacy, Zane, Drew & Rich.) They were the sole reason we we were able to attend this show, since it is closed to the general public. I can't even begin to explain how valuable these guys were to us... not to mention how cool it was to hang out with them and see the industry through their eyes.
Monday & Tuesday was Outdoor Demo. Jack picked me up at the airport, and took us right to Boulder City. Most of the bike companies had all of their bikes available to test - and there were road and mountain bike routes set up. I didn't bring any gear, so I mainly wandered around and checked things out. We handed out samples to the bike mechanics, but generally just ogled the bikes. Richard & I hit it off right away and started competing to see who could get the best shwag for the day- that was awesome... and now I will never look at Nuun the same again. I also have to add that killing one of Austin's best triathletes on a hill climb was pretty cool, even if I was demoing an electric hybrid bike. :)

One of the coolest things for me was standing around with Jim Felt (yes- MR. FELT, who CREATED MY BIKE) and hearing him pitch the AR2. I had no idea who he was until midway through our conversation - he was just one of the guys - and that was very very cool.

I felt that one day at the Outdoor Demo was enough, so I took Tuesday off from Interbike and read a book/slept/recovered from Monday night. (Yeah, um, that's all I'm going to mention about that.) It was nice to take an honest vacation day/night. By the way, the water shows at the Bellagio are amazing, no matter how many times I watched them.

Wednesday - Friday was the Indoor Trade Show. I'm somewhat at a loss of how to describe this. (Sorry, Mark!) Take every bike shop in Austin and put them on the strongest steroids out there - that is Interbike. Just off the top of my head, I saw Felt, Gatorade, Cervelo, Oakley, Polar, Garmin, Hammer, Rocket Science, Pedros, Paceline, Fuelbelt, Michelin, Nuun, Hammer, Clif, Powerbar, Keen, Shimano, Shram, QR, Kuatro, Pearl Izumi, Champ Sys, Cytomax, ERS, etc... etc... Road bikes, tri bikes, mountain bikes, cruiser bikes, bike parts, bike clothes, bike components, nutrition, accessories, distributors, and on and on and on...
Again, all I can say is WOW. It was like being a kid in a candy store. Honestly, it took me a day before I could even think of promoting Grease Monkey!

Which leads me to my change in plans. Tim & Kerry left on Wednesday, but I wanted to stay... I'd come all the way to Vegas to grow our business, and I wasn't missing out. Luckily I changed my flight (free!), booked a cheap room at the I.P. and had 2 more amazing days of opportunities. I am so glad that I stayed, and here's why:

Wednesday night was the National Cyclocross Championships. I'd never been to a cyclocross race, so I had no idea what to expect... but HOLY COW. These races (which are like crits, but on crazy courses) are intense! Watching Lance Armstrong whiz by over and over was pretty freaking cool... and mind you, he wasn't even in the lead pack. For a sport that I had no clue about, I had a blast.

I spent the day Thursday at the Expo. Throughout the day, Jack was awesome at taking me around and introducing me to key players. It was pretty incredible how differently people responded to me with Jack by my side than when I was alone. That man has some serious pull. I also owe a huge thanks to Richard, who did the whole expo with me. Getting the industry view from both the bike shop angle and the pro triathlete angle was pretty incredible. I can't measure my new found appreciation and insight. Here he is wowing the Polar reps while doing a 1 minute power test.

So, you know those times when you are so tired that all you want to do is go home and sleep? That was me times ten on Thursday night... but before I could resist I was at the National Crit Championships at the Mandalay Bay. I've obviously seen crits before, but this was absolutely insane. It was incredible to watch the world's best zoom by for 60 laps, but adding to that was the fact that we were located in the prime crash zone. We honestly served as crash pads as no less than 10 cyclists ran straight into the barricades we were standing behind. Everyone got pretty close as we grabbed each other as if we were riding a rollercoaster. I coined a new workout - spectator intervals - which were the 30 seconds of heart racing we had every lap as the cyclists approached. I met amazing people out there, too. I walked away from that race thinking "that was probably one of the coolest nights of my entire life." And to think that I almost slept through it.
Friday - you guessed it - more Expo!! Everyone was pretty tired by this point, so it was a lot of just hanging out. I had a good time talking to many of the vendors - but the highlight was talking to the marketing director at Cervelo. It was a privilege to meet him and hear his advice.

To sum it up, I'm not going to talk about Grease Monkey (that's for Tim & Kerry.) I will say that personally, I learned more this week than I could have possibly dreamed of - not just in the cycling industry, but in business and life. For a trip that I was nearly dreading, it turned out to be one of the best weeks of my life.

That being said, if I don't hear Frank Sinatra again for a year, that would be just fine. :) So long, Las Vegas.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Playing the Game.

I had perhaps the best workout of my training season yesterday. 40 mile ride to Kyle + 2.5 mile run off the bike. Somehow I found myself alongside Liz (who I gauge to be one of the strongest female T3 cyclists) and vowed to hang on with her for the ride. At the turnaround, I was feeling good so I decided to pick it up to race pace for as long as I could hold it.

I felt amazing. It was as if the bike gods were smiling down on me - the weather was perfect, my legs felt strong, my nutrition was working... I kept waiting for Liz & Jim to catch me, but they didn't. As I was riding, expecting them to come up any minute, I realized that I always ride with the mentality that I'm only as good as the people I ride with. In other words, I'm only as good as I think I am. Screw that - I don't want these manufactured limitations!!! So, I let them go, and I flew. What a feeling!

I joined Jim & Tom for a run off the bike. I was still feeling pretty good, and thanks to Tom's encouragement, ended up with a pretty quick 2.5 miles at a pace that shocked me. I'm still not positive I believe Tom's GPS, but I'll take it. The point is, I gave up thinking that I only run a slow pace and let my legs do the work instead. It worked!

This was always a favorite quote of mine: "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right." So true.

My other mantra yesterday has summed up this entire training season. "It's not about the score, it's about how you play the game." I honestly and truly do not care what my Longhorn time is. Of course I'd like to do well, but this entire experience is so much more than that. I have learned so much about myself, made so many new friends and gained insights and appreciations I never expected. I am proud of my training, of my decisions and of my accomplishments. I am happier with myself now than I can ever remember, and that's what it's all about.

I really am loving playing the game.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dang Good Karma

Wow. When I say that no matter what, I will always land on my feet... today was the perfect example.

First... as I mentioned, I procrastinated my butt off in booking my Vegas flights. So I ended up on with a $500 ticket for dates that I didn't exactly want, and long travel days. But, it was my fault so I was going to deal with it.

Then, around 7:00pm, my long lost friend John sent me a text that he had a Southwest award ticket for me to use. But I already booked nonrefundable flights!!!! GRRRR! But... this morning, I called Southwest and found out they could put me on the exact flights I needed. I called cheapair and learned that because I was cancelling with in 24 hours, there would only be a $25 fee. So... in the end, I completely won out! YES! (By the way, I haven't seen John in eleven years. How amazing is it that he saved me?!!)

So... good karma... rockin'!

Later this afternoon, my boss called me and told me, "I need you to be a hero. Find xyz, and put it into place stat." Lucky for me, I was sitting right next to the man who could help me... and he took care of everything in a matter of minutes. Once I told my boss everything was under control, he sent me a, "Damn. You're awesome!" text back. Double karma!!

I am feeling so lucky right now. Rock on.

Fantastic Friday

I am the best mood right now. I'm SO HAPPY IT IS FRIDAY!! I started my weekend off yesterday, and even though I'm working today - it's all fun stuff. I have a weekend full of friends and easy workouts and getting ready for Vegas. I won't be back at work until next Friday!

So... I know I'm being vague, but I will say that in about 10 minutes yesterday, I took care of something I've been working towards all year. It was easier than I could have imagined and all the while, I felt... right. Then I treated myself to a trip to the Austin Museum of Art. The exhibit there, Modern Art/Modern Lives: Then + Now, is AWESOME. I am continually impressed with the exhibits that Dana Friis-Hansen pulls together. Moreover, I want to meet the Austinites that OWN these pieces. Holy cow. Anyway, I could go on and on and on and on about how much I enjoyed the exhibit, but I think I made my point.

I had a great evening and still managed to make my 5:15 run with Elizabeth & Yvonne. Our run was *only* eight miles (love that!), and I was surprised at how great I felt. Got ready at the springs and watched the sunrise. Perfect morning.

Someone asked me if I'm one of those people who could be happy anywhere. After some thought, I would say that yes - I think I am one of those people. Don't get me wrong, I certainly have my moments. Generally though, I look for the positive in things and appreciate where I am at any minute. It certainly helps that I have such great friends and live in such a great city. :)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Mike... I cannot even believe you didn't give me the heads up on today's Woot Shirt. But no fear, I got one anyway!!! I think I will firmly solidify my dorkiness by wearing this while I make more robots. Yeah, try to compete with that!

Procrastination Station

I can't believe that I waited until almost the very last minute to book my Vegas flights. That is so unlike me, but honestly... I just kept thinking that a free Southwest airline ticket would fall into my lap. Oh well... I'm not going to think about the outrageous airfare I just paid anymore... I'm booked and ready to go!

That being said, if anyone has a spare place on their floor Wednesday night, I need a room! ;)

So... Interbike... one year ago I had never heard of it, and now I co-own a company and will be (pardon the stupid pun) guerrilla marketing like crazy. Should be a blast!!!!


I just wanted to say that I love this photograph by Man Ray. That's it.

Hot Chocolate & My Day

As I write this, I'm drinking hot chocolate. (Okay, Suisse Mocha sugar free decaffeinated coffee drink mix, but whatever.) I love this weather!!!

I skipped core and swimming this morning in favor of sleeping in. I was up at 5:00am, but I just couldn't motivate myself to get dressed, so I went back to sleep... until 8:20. Guess I needed it! After much debate, I made myself go to swim practice at lunch and did a very easy 2500m. Lunch swims with T3 are hard... all the uber-fast people are there and I go from "I'm kicking butt at swimming" to "uh. yeah. reality... check!"

By about 3:00, I was in my typical "I don't want to go to the run workout - I hate running" mode. I was out of work early, so I decided to see if Phil wanted to meet me at the trail to run. I like running with him because he completely intimidates me running, yet he'll go whatever pace I go and inevitably I end up pushing harder, and he will talk nonstop to distract me. I thought we'd do 5 miles, with a few pickups thrown in. There was some type of movie shoot at the area by the Statesman, so our loop was thwarted and we ended up doing the 7 mile loop. We ran the middle section at a very solid clip, averaging about 8:20s I'd guess, and kept up a pretty good pace for the whole run. I felt like I got some good quality in, AND it was nice to catch up with Phil. We ended where T3 was doing the quality run, so I jogged over and joined in. Did stride outs, 4 x 400m repeats (I'm pretty sure the 400's were actually 200's... thanks Yvonne!) and then did a cooldown 800m. 8.5 miles for the evening, and I felt fantastic.

I am such a headcase when it comes to running, but tonight - thanks largely to the cool weather - I felt so much faster. Bring on the cold!!!

Now, back to my hot chocolate. A very, very good day indeed.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yes, I work.

Seriously, I work. I promise. Here I am yesterday working at an association golf tournament. See, I told you!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


happy hour, crossword puzzles, alone time, long long spin, run, swim, bath, visit, work, south congress, wine, walking Karma, sleeping in, laundry, errands, springs, new best friend, new bruises, sunburn, a *finally* completed novel and....


good weekend.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ugly Knees

I was just looking in the mirror and realized that I have very ugly knees. I'm not sure if I was born this way, or if it's just the accumulation of cuts, bruises and scars over the years.

I was a very clumsy child (shock) and spent a lot of time in the school nurse's office. I also remember falling off my bike quite a bit as a child. And in college, geez. I fell over all the time for no reason at all. (Just ask Damsky, she oftentimes would look over to talk to me as we'd walk to class and I'd be flat on my face.) However, the majority of scars have come since I started training: largely due to tripping while running and falling off my bike.

So, the status of my ugly knees right now? Well, I still have bruises and scrapes from the Adventure Race last weekend, and today I managed to cut my knee while doing the T3 indoor bike ride. Seriously, I injured myself during indoor spin to the point I had blood running down my leg and now have even more bruises and cuts on my knees.

Who hurts themselves during indoor spin? Yeah, that's me. I do.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricanes and Such

As much as I joke sometimes that my job is fairly easy, this week it has been insane! Working in the disaster recovery industry means that when a storm is coming, we are busy busy busy. Once a storm hits? Things get crazy.

I admit, I'm feeling little overwhelmed... I have a lot of work functions going on without needing to respond to Hurricane Ike. To put it in perspective, I do feel lucky that Austin seems to be spared. I really am hoping that it somehow fizzles out and the Texas coast is okay.

I did manage to meet Elizabeth & Blythe this morning at 4:45 to get our long run in. As I take on the rest of my day, it feels pretty darn good to have already run a half marathon this morning! Man I felt strong... stronger than I have felt in months. What a change in weeks this has been for me!

Alright, now to prepare for a trade show, hurricane conference call, respond to emails, run home to change/Karma duty, trade show, more hurricane stuff... and then, hopefully, T3 happy hour and some down time. I'll probably be asleep by 8:00. :) Should be a really good weekend - I'm thinking about it to get me through the rest of today.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Getting Back in the Game

No, sleep cannot overcome my blondness. BUT, it sure has made a difference in my attitude and ability this week.

This week is SO much better than last week. Phew!

Monday: 1.25 hour am swim (I felt fantastic and maybe even surprised my lane by pushing it); .25 hour pm core; 1 hour pm run (this was a mental victory. sly d & coach made me show up for zilker repeats, but i got to do a shortened workout); 8 hours of sleep!
Tuesday: 1.25 hour am swim (shared a t2 lane with Michelle & Jess, which rocked); 1 hour lunchtime nap; 2 hour spin (best spin class YET!), .25 hour run (felt like i was flying!)
Wednesday: 1 hour am swim (easy breezy 2750m); 1.5 hour quality run (2 mile warmup + 4 mile repeats at descending pace - pushed it and succeeded!)

I could stop right now and feel good about my week. Of course I won't, but I'm happy so far and am pleased to report that my head is back in the game. With that, time to go to sleep!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sleep Helps... Or Not...

After Meredith checked my nutrition, she concluded that I'm eating fine. I just need more sleep.

Apparently 5 - 6 hours doesn't cut it. (Shock!) Thus, my plan is to get more sleep. Starting last night, I got 8 hours! I was in bed by 8:45, asleep by 9:00. Slept in till 5:00 = 8 hours!

However... sleep cannot overcome my blondness. I packed my swim stuff, work clothes and bike/run clothes for tonight. Made some coffee, ate a banana, then headed out. What did I forget that was pretty important for biking tonight? Oh... my bike.

Brilliant! ;)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Defending Champions...

To this day, I am unsure how Kerry and I became friends. But we are, and I think we are the perfect balance for each other. The one thing, however, is that Kerry scares the living $#(% out of me. This somehow makes her the perfect adventure race partner. :)

Yesterday was our second showing at the Women's Adventure Race. Kerry posted a great recap of our pre-race craziness (which included me doing the practiceman Saturday, Kerry drinking a lot, forgetting our life jackets, not inflating our floats, etc...) Once we finally arrived to the site, we did a tiny warm-up, and I'll be honest - my legs were dead. D-E-A-D. The signs were not looking good. Kerry tried to convince me that we were just racing for fun... but I knew better. With Kerry, it is all business. I shuddered to think what would happen if I didn't perform.

Anyway, having done this race before definitely helps. I'll spare the details, but basically we ran to a secret location, grabbed our third teammate (a rubber chicken!!!) and went to work on various obstacles throughout a 3 mile hilly course, through the woods at the YMCA. Obstacles included: handcuffing ourselves together, three legged race, disc golf with the chicken, croquette with the chicken, ball tosses, obstacle courses and the very dreaded water section.

The water section. UGH. Midway through this race, after barreling down a pretty steep hill, we have to pick up our lifejackets and flotation devices, run to the lake and swim across it. Most smart people use inflatable kayaks or rafts. Kerry & me? We used rafts and swim paddles. Let me just say, again, that Erin + Inflatable Objects = NO GO. I had to eventually latch on to Kerry so she could paddle me to the water exit. Pa-the-tic.

I should mention that all the while, we were battling it out with this badass mother+daughter Austin Flyer team. We beat them last year, but this year they were ready to kick our butts. The girl may have been only 9 or 10, but she was a force. Anyway, I was nearly certain they were going to beat us, but somehow we edged them out at the very end and took first overall. The Grease Monkey Girls prevailed... and Erin was saved from a serious beating from Kerry. Phew!

Here are some pics:

Kerry hand pumping our rafts minute before the race. Yes, we are still in the car. Doh.
Our high tech flotation devices. Good idea... very poor execution by me.
Modeling our YOUTH lifejackets. I'm still unsure how I got this thing snapped. Let's just say taking it off was equally challenging.
Getting my head in the game... (not really, but do i look like it?!)
Superstar Kerry- Queen of the Water. (She deserved a Good Dickens! Ha!)

Defending Champions! Yay!!Another good year. I was hoping that our repeat win would earn me a hall pass for next year, but Kerry was already planning our 2009 Plan of Attack on the way to the car. Thanks Kerry. Seriously.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Bad Relationships...

Just a little FYI... Erin + Anything Inflatable = NO GO.

We prevailed anyway. ;) More on that later... Needless to say, today rocked! I have yet to sit down, and probably won't any time soon... but I redeemed myself from yesterday. That is a good thing.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Snarky Erin

I'm not very proud of myself. I should have had a much better attitude about T3's Longhorn "Practiceman" this morning. My head was NOT in the game at all. Grrrrrr.

I am reconfirming what I've always known... it's not the training that I love, it's the people. Without them, I couldn't do this. Not physically and definitely not mentally.

This week, I owe Dionn, Elizabeth, Rhonda, Betty, Jess, Carrie, Charles, Kevin, Jim & Tom big time. They have all pushed me in workouts and/or made an effort to perk me up. For instance... Rhonda nearly drug me around the track on Wednesday night during our last mile time trial. Elizabeth met me at 5:00am yesterday to run 11 miles so we could get it over with. Dionn & Tom pulled me through 56 miles on the bike today (even dealing with my snarky attitutude and hour of sequestering). And poor D... I called her every curse word I know during our "run" after our bike today.

My fitness is fine. My nutrition was fine. (Thanks entirely to red velvet cupcake champion Meredith!!) It's just my head. This too shall pass, right?

Anyway, the post-Practiceman bbq was a blast. After I regained conciousness from 4.25 hours of training, took a dip in the lake and changed, I was happy as ever again. I'm ready for a nap, some Sweet Sweet condo UT Football action, and a great morning tomorrow.

Friday, September 05, 2008

So Much D in So Little Time!

Talk about Social Networking Craziness... D & I just communicated in so many ways at once!

1) G-chat
2) T3 Messenger
3) T3 Email
4) Work Email
5) Text
6) Gmail
7) Phone
8) Facebook messenger
9) Facebook email

This is insane. And I expect a blog comment any minute now.... ;)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Good Advice

A dear friend sent this to me. Thank you!!!

Focus on what you do great. Too often we find ourselves needing outside validation, or approval from someone else that we have done well. Approve of yourself first - your internal dialogue has to be positive. Others will notice that you are naturally happy and will naturally approve.

Remind yourself, "I may not be where I want to be, but at least I'm not where I used to be".

Get'cha Head in the Game

Longhorn is one month away, yet my mind is a at war with itself.

"I am so excited to do a race that I've actually trained for! Only 2 more hard weeks, and I can start tapering. I might have a chance at not blowing up this time!"


"I am spent. I don't want to go run. I don't want to go to spin. I don't want to wake up at 4:30am. I want my off season now. Why did I sign up for this stupid thing."

I know, it's ugly. But it's true. There you have it. If you've seen me at spin lately, you've probably seen my face - the look of frustration, weariness and resistance. I hate that face, but I'm having trouble shaking it.

Just one more month. Gotta get my head in the game.

(Yes, I am using High School Musical to emphasize my point. It's my blog, and I'll do what I want to!)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Robots Came Too!

Yes, of course the robots came too. :) And with that, I accept my trophy for queen of all dorkiness. Carry on.

More Pictures....

Me, after doing the "Egyptian" into the reception.
Jenna, Rudi, Annie & me
The Tulsa girls (Traci, Kalyn & Megan) and me
Jenna, Rachel and me
Jenna, Annie & me
Jenna & me returning to our college days. Blueberry pecan pancake at Hash House A Go Go. MMMM!!!!
Delivery Rachel's pre-wedding gift to Adam

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Few Weekend Pics...

More to come! :)

Jumping back in...

Literally. My 2 days off from training ended today with a 1.25hr swim, 1.75hr bike and .25hr run. Good stuff....

I'm so tired. Not even Facebook can keep me up anymore. (Maggie... you BETTER be at swim tomorrow am.)


Not Guilty!

This post had me cracking up this morning:
Stuff White People Like #108: Appearing to like Classical Music.

I find it especially timely since I've been raving about how amazing Philip Glass is lately, especially in his documentary Koyaanisqatsi. I quote, "Knowing these composers is almost a golden ticket into making white people think you are smart, but not TOO smart.

The first, of course, is Philip Glass. Not only does he have one of the best last names a white person can have, but he writes music used in smart documentaries. Thus combining multiple white passions into a single artist."

For the record, I really do enjoy classical music. In fact, if you check my cd player, I'm often listening to Gustav Holst, Vivaldi or some classical compilation cd. Honest! I have seen Philip Glass a number of times, my favorite was when he did a score for the original Phantom of the Opera. I'm not a poser, I promise.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Jetlag Excuses

I'm blaming Jetlag for why I'm not doing anything today. 2 hours is a big deal, people!!! I mean, it's only 9:30am on the Island, meaning I've been up since 8:00.

I had some grand plans to run or bike or swim today, but I will probably just take one more day off. We're ramping up this week, so I'm taking as much rest as I can. Only one more month until Longhorn!

The real reason why I'm so lazy and tired? Annie & Jenna convinced me to join Facebook. I used to be a Friendster person, but lost interest. I was never a MySpace person. We'll see how this goes. I feel uber-dorky sending people requests to "be my friend." Anyway, this kept me up until 1:00am last night. Oops.

I think there's a hurricane brewing. I am anticipating about 1000 emails from my work account regarding this, but I'm not opening it until tomorrow. I am still on vacation!!

Speaking of work, my boss was being very nice to me on Wednesday. I told him he was afraid I would get to California, fall in love with it, and stay forever. I was joking at the time, but this weekend I came to realize something... why not? I'm versatile. I can move. What's really holding me back from starting all over again? (I mean, maybe I can even find a job that pays dental insurance, right?)

Hmmmm. Something to think about...