Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Wisdom

You win some, and you learn some.

Think about it...
(Thanks, Ben. I love this!!!)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Robot #2421

Nearly two years ago, I wrote this on my blog:
One of these days, after swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running a marathon - I will hear the words, "Erin - you are an IRONMAN!" Until then, I thought I would share the race report of my friend Maggie, who finished her first Ironman last weekend. She has been one of my greatest inspirations, and I owe a lot of triathlons to her. I am so proud of her.

And two years later, I feel the same way!!! Go Maggie Go!!!! I am SO THERE with you. :)

Her 2006 IMFL Race Report is HERE. (She didn't have a blog then, so I had the honor of publicizing for her!)

Fighting my Sweet Tooth

I reconfirmed yesterday that I have a problem. I'll sum it by saying that I have no portion control whatsoever when I eat. This especially applies to dessert. This week's evidence comes as an empty bag of chocolate candy corn, which I bought on Monday. Yuck!

Anyway, I gave up dessert last year for 6 months and 6 days. By the end, I didn't crave it at all. I'm not sure it made much of a difference in my appearance, but I certainly felt better. Being that I'm an all or nothing kind of girl (shocking, I know) - I find it's easier just to give things up than to try and ration. This is how I don't drink sodas and don't eat icecream. Sweets... those are harder... but it's cool. I'm ready to give them up too. My goal is to make it to CdA and celebrate the race with some chocolate cake or something. Realistically, I'll try to make it to New Years. FYI, blueberry pancakes do not count! ;)

Here I am with my last dessert of the year... strawberries and pound cake at Souper Salad. Yum!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Something's Wrong

I took this picture of my desk this morning.

The bags of candy - those are for my clients. (Honestly, not my belly. My belly is full of candy corn and candy pumpkins, there is no room for this stuff!)

What I find odd, obviously, is the magazine... which apparently I have a subscription for since I get it every month. Ummm. Yeah. Not sure what that's about.

Random Funniness

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Afternoon Wisdom

life is short.

you have to find happiness whenever and wherever you can.

you never know when you may see it again.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


TODAY WAS A FREAKING BLAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who knew dancing to Thriller with 880 other Austinites would be one of the most fun things I've done all year? Well... I kinda did... which is why I did it!

And Austin set the World Record!! Man... it was a blast. A total freaking blast. (Getting that?! :)) I'm glad I got to share it with Sadie & Gira, too... kudos to them for going all out in Zombie attire. They rocked it.

Here's some videos I found. Wow. Incredible!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sing A Long!

I could not be more excited about two upcoming sing-a-longs at the Alamo.

Thursday night: Michael Jackson.

November 13th: 90's Pop/Rap. To cite the lovely Lulu:

Stop. Collaborate and listen.

Every once in awhile there comes an event so monumental that no man or woman can pass it up. That event is coming on 11/13 at 9:30PM. Yes my friends, as hard as it is to believe, the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown is bringing us.....

90’s Pop Rap Sing-a-long

Will Smith. MC Hammer. Vanilla Ice. Color Me Badd.


I love Austin so much. I love that I have crazy friends who want to join me for this stuff. I want to go bust a move right this minute. Come one... come all!!! (Just putting it out there!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Slow Start

I'm having a Monday morning that could be categorized as "why didn't I just stay in bed?!" But I'm trying to overcome it. The fact that I've made it to work, didn't forget anything yet, didn't wreck my car, and have a full cup of coffee are all extremely positive things this morning. Time to reflect on the weekend, which I should explain was great...

I had my share of Austin random fun. (Tour De Fat and learning to dance the Thriller at the Off Center were both awesome crazy things.) I love experiencing Austin... and in a way where I don't need anyone to accompany me. I am happy to put stuff out there to my friends, but if they don't want to come, that doesn't mean I won't go myself. That's pretty liberating.

That being said, it was fun to have company! At one point, my house was completely full of people and the front yard full was full of bikes. Leslie & Jon drove up and were quite taken aback, I think! It was fun to ride around with Kerry, Shorey, Panther & Mike at the Tour... funny how you can email people 100x or more a day, but we rarely see each other. Quality girl time with Maggie was perfect on Saturday night... just what I needed. I also spent a lot of time practicing honesty... which can be difficult (you know, shedding that protective shell) but ultimately a good thing.

So, back to Monday... What's going on? I guess I'm just tired and sore. I was amazed that I stayed in the pool this morning through 2500yards... it was definitely a mental battle. I'm also mentally tired, but like I said - I think that's a good thing. Anyway, it's going to be a great week. Lots going on... lots to look forward to... and in the spirit of putting stuff out there... come join me this Saturday for Thrill the World Austin!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Life isn't about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.

George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wake Up Call - OW!!

I am more sore than I remember being in months. Yes, I'm in my "off season" but seriously - you didn't think I'd be able to stay away too long now, did you?

So, I swam Monday and Tuesday mornings. Went to core and spin last night. Went to core this morning. And WOW. Ouch. Can I do a real pushup? No. Can I effectively hold the plank position? No. Can I raise my arms above my head today without cringing? No. No I can not.

Time to start going back to core workouts. I'm putting it out there now - if I miss Wednesday morning core, there better be a darn good excuse.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Leaning Forward

I had coffee with a friend/colleague this morning. We were talking about our jobs and he shared with me some wisdom he learned from a mentor:

Even if you don't think there is anything you can do, just lean forward. Never lean backwards - that's how you fall. I love it. Lean forward - make forward progress. Obviously I am all about "reframe" but I think I'll be adopting the "lean forward" philosophy too. It is so simple, but it applies to everything.

On another note, I am such a huge fan of communication. I like to think I'm a great communicator, but turns out I need people to give me a wake up call every now and then. (Thank you.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

290 on 2222

I had quite a scare this morning.

I was on 2222, driving to T3 Swim, around 5:20. The roads were pretty slick, and believe it or not, I was fully paying attention to driving for once. Suddenly, I was veering right and my car skid out of control. It was slow motion as I spun wide about 290 degrees all over the road. When I came to a stop, I was in the middle of the road (in somewhat of a blind spot for oncoming traffic) and facing the other way. All my lights were on in the car, and it wouldn't go to drive. I put my hazards on, restarted the car (which luckily did restart), turned the car around and was on my way.

I was so lucky that I didn't spin off the road and that there were no other cars around. It was certainly a wake up call to appreciate being alive and healthy. As I was swimming, I was reminded how fortunate I am. An ironically good start to my Monday.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I am having issues today. As much as I try to be an independent, "take care of myself" and "I don't need anyone's help" type of girl, sometimes I just can't do it all. GRRRRRRR. I hate having to rely on others when I can't do it by myself.

I need a reframe. (Like how I've made that into a noun?!)

Here goes....

I've had a really nice week and weekend. I really took it easy last week, and my soreness was gone by Wednesday. I have really enjoyed spending quality time with my close friends without feeling the pressures of training. Luckily I've been able to combine much of it with some no-pressure workouts, like swimming with Maggie, recovery rides with Ben and Rich and running with Elizabeth. I am fully stocked from Hobby Lobby & the Westbank Library, and I am now attempting some new hobbies. I had dinner with Leslie on Wednesday and it was so awesome to catch up with her. I got quality Dionn time on Thursday night. I am watching Kris' dog this weekend and he's a big mass of entertainment. I have some new projects at work which should keep me busy (in a good way.) I have lunch with Mer on Tuesday and I can't wait to hear about her race. I get company from Karma most of the week. I'm going to be starting my off-season run training soon which is pretty exciting. The weather is great. The coffee I'm drinking is yummy. I don't feel too guilty about the week of debauchery I had eating and drinking whatever I wanted. (too guilty, mind you.) Ohhh... I actually spent time in my kitchen yesterday! Turns out I kind of like the kitchen.

I have been giving a lot of thought to things that I want out of life, where I am right now and stuff like that - which is really healthy. I am feeling very appreciative of the multitude of understanding people in my life.

I think I'm going to go do laundry and watch Mad Hot Ballroom, and ignore everything that I can't accomplish on my own. In the grand scheme, I'm lucky enough that there are people who will help me if I need it.

Alright, reframe... check. I feel better.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Now what...

I love making robots... largely because I don't need to have any skills. I can glue and paint all day, but that's about as far as I go. I am so excited to report that I bought my very first mitre saw!!! To occupy myself before Longhorn, I sawed arms and legs and heads on my front porch, then painted and personalized three new robots. (Final product below!)
Anyway... as I wandered around Hobby Lobby last night for about 30 minutes... I started to realize that I may have a problem. I am starting to recognize the staff. I know exactly where everything I need is. I found myself reading the craft books and getting big ideas about what projects I want to start and skills I want to learn.

Now that Longhorn is over, I think I might start up some new hobbies. My list includes: mosaics, beading, making more and better robots and sewing. I'd also love to learn how to cook. And I'd like to start ballet classes. Oh, I'd also like to start playing piano again. And start playing Scrabble again, too. And make it to the museums more often. And paint my bedroom. And take some informal classes at U.T.

Hmmm. Time to prioritize. Anyway, if I start talking about hanging out at craft stores more than once a week, please feel free to intervene. Or join me! :)

I love Nuun!

I should write the guys I met who work for Nuun to tell them how much their product saved me! Check the before & after shots...

On my first loop, I put my visor as low as possible so that no one would see my face as I "ran" by...Second time around, complete with my bottle of Nuun water, I was back in good spirits!
Thanks for the pics, Joe!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Longhorn 70.3

Longhorn 70.3 Half Ironman- 5:46:20. I will take it!

I'm too tired to write out a coherent report, so I will again display my newfound love of lists:

-What I'm most proud of? Biking 19.9mph at a comfortable pace. I never went out of my comfort zone, meaning I definitely could have pushed harder had I wanted to. I kept it as calm as I could for being in a half ironman!

-What I'm least proud of? My run. 2:23 for 13.1 miles, or a 10:55 pace. I walked at least 25% of the course, probably much more. If it hadn't been for Rhonda, who stuck by me for about 5 miles, I would have walked much more than that.

-What happened!? Something about my nutrition didn't work, and I didn't have a backup. My body was not enjoying PureSport and the Gatorade bar at all, but I had little else to fall back on. I was sick by mile 10 on the bike. Without going into detail, I'll say that I was sick at least 4 times that I remember... and my nutrition suffered big time. Additionally, I didn't take enough electrolytes, which cost me my run.

-What saved me? The people, of course. Seeing Richard, Mike, Kevin, Phil, Chris, Chris, Shorey, the Austin Duathletes Superhero Waterstop and T3 was so inspiring. I didn't want to let anyone down, so I kept moving forward. Rhonda stuck by me when I wanted to stop running. Then... Meredith, my angel, worked up an emergency nutrition plan which had me back on my feet in no time. (Unfortunately, I only had 3 miles to go at this point.)

-Best line of the day? Kevin, via email: "I really admire your attitude Erin!" Erin, on the run: "ROAR! I want to die!!!!!" Kevin, post race: "I didn't really know what to say to that."

-Best shirt of the day? "I don't do triathlons. I do triathletes."

-Favorite moments? Smelling like Pina Coladas at the Sunscreen Spot with Elizabeth. Getting out of the lake and seeing 29:39 on my watch, and never considering that of course the swim was short. Seeing Chris, who I had no clue was coming out, at mile 2 on the bike. Catching Blythe on the bike... and then getting dropped. Getting nutrition from Mike & Meredith on the run. Seeing Mo during my second loop and hearing "way to turn things around Erin!" Dancing the Super Mario Brothers Dance with Kenny at the water stop. Hearing Richard say, "wow - you really CAN bike!" Laura telling me she placed third at Aquabike.

-Best secret weapon? Richard! Thank you for taking care of me, otherwise I would have been a mess. (Tips from a pro aren't so bad either!)

Longhorn was giant fun! Granted, for about 1.25 hours... I wouldn't have said that... but I reframed, got my head back in the game, and broke my 6:00 goal by almost 15 minutes. A very good day indeed. :)

Thanks for all the well wishes, by the way. I was most appreciative.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Before I go to sleep...

I've been reflecting on some of the most memorable parts of my training this year. These are some of the things I will think about during Longhorn tomorrow. In no particular order, here are some of my highlights.

1) Going to the gym with Panther 3-4 times/week. I was such a gym rat - doing anything to avoid an actual triathlete type workout. So, I concentrated on building some muscle and reaching my goal of leg pressing 340lbs. I always looked forward to meeting Panther at 4:00 to get our "Max Strength" on.

2) Team Woot. Training officially started the first weekend in March. I'm not sure I knew what I was even training FOR, but I knew that I wanted to train with Panther, Dionn, Glenda, Kris, Triscuit & Michelle. We had a lot of fun workouts together, especially our "Woot Camp Boot Camp."

3) Attempting to ride to the Rookie Tri with Kris, and getting lost more times than I can mention. We had so much fun during that ride, and thank goodness D came to pick us up after the race as we sat, beaten down, on the side of some random road.

4) All the race advice from Mike. Needing more hate, or more "Not liking very much." I think he finally gets that I don't operate that way... today he told me to stay in my happy place, because going anywhere else would be completely unfamiliar.

5) Runs with Phil. I considered those opportunities times to reflect on how far I'd come since my first step on the trail. His advice and feedback has always been invaluable to me. It's ironic that I would never run with him in the past because I was too intimidated, but ultimately it turns out he was (is) a great running partner.

6) Mesa Repeats. I would call Chris each time I attempted Mesa and say "I'm going to call you when I'm done, and if I don't say "I completed X repeats" then kick my butt." It worked! In fact, whenever I would need someone to be accountable to, he was there in the most supportive way possible.

7) The ACA ride post SXSW. I was so hungover, but I still managed to get out there and ride 50 miles with Tim & Scot. I was slow, but they patiently waited for me, and I was very happy to get those miles in.

8) Meeting Kerry at 24 Hour Fitness. We would swim, lift, attempt Latin Spice, and ogle Bobby Bones. (Fine, I admit it! We ogled!) I was so bummed when my membership ran out... I really miss those workouts.

9) T3 Swim Clinic. This is where I realized I really DIDN'T know what I was doing in the pool. At one point, a few years ago, I could swim. Then it went away. Swim clinic was the turning point where I started to get it back... and I lost my flick!

10) Signing up for Longhorn. For the record, I was drunk when I signed up for Longhorn. Mike, Panther & I had been at Rio Rita drinking way too many margaritas for a weeknight. I came home, started chatting with D, and next thing I know I was looking at my race confirmation.

11) Signing up for IMCDA. Chris & Dionn can recall how adamant I was that I wouldn't sign up. I was waiting. No way did I want to jump on that train!!! And before I knew it, not 20 minutes after registration opened, I signed up. FOMO much? Nah... it was more admitting that I actually WAS ready. I'll never, ever forget Chris's face when I showed him my race confirmation. Damn if he didn't know all along.

12) Joining T3. I can't even begin to describe what a crazy decision this was for me. At a time of so much change in my life, I wanted to rely on the consistency of my (old) training group. But it wasn't meant to be, and thanks to ALL the seeds that D had planted (and nudging from Meredith & Chris) - I joined. I still miss my old group/coach, but this was the best decision I could have made for the sake of my training and my sanity!

13) Volunteering at Jack's with Elizabeth. It was here that I realized that someone else was my pace on the run - my most dreaded part of triathlon. I had been so timid about running with T3, but meeting her and realizing that I had a partner (and new great friend) to train with turned my entire perspective around. (Betty, Blythe, Rhonda & Jess have also helped me deal with my fear of running.)

14) Couples Tri. This is when my attitude about my ability really took a turn. Plus, racing with Dionn and stepping on the podium our first time in T3 Blue felt pretty awesome.

15) The U.T. Cycling Studies. Thank goodness I got to do these side by side with Kerry. They were hard, but so worth it. When times get tough, I can think back to doing the Macarena while attached to a tube.

16) T3 morning swim practices. I felt an unwritten obligation to show up and attempt to beat Charles. What a blast. :)

17) Sweet & Twisted Tri. When Joey announced my name, that I had won 3rd in my AG, I couldn't believe it. It was so much fun to have the T3 girls + Maggie cheer for me. Again, I actually felt like an athlete!

18) Maggie. She is a constant source of inspiration to me. I am so glad she joined T3...

19) Monday morning runs with Holly. I miss those a bunch. They were the perfect way to start off the week and see my friend. I'm looking forward to the time when we can run together again.

20) The people. Duh, this is where the really cheesy part happens. I have met so many people this year, and I'm inspired by all of them. I could start naming names, but I can't begin to remember everyone. However, there is obviously one person that stands out more than anyone... and (SHOCK!) here she is. I owe so much of my season to her.

So... there were just a few (20) of my favorite training memories this year. In 5 hours, I'll wake up... get ready... head out to Decker Lake... and at 7:44, it's GO TIME.

What a year it's been. :)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Some Thoughts on Longhorn 70.3

I wasn't going to post anything about Longhorn, but that seems silly since I've been talking about it for the past 4-5 months pretty much nonstop. So here goes...

Five years ago, I could not run 1 mile without stopping. I'm serious, not 1 measly mile. Four years ago, I ran my first marathon, and five months later raced my first triathlon. Two years ago, I completed my first and only half iron distance race. By the way, my first instinct is to be embarrassed at my slow time, but looking back - I was so proud of myself when I finished, and I can't diminish that. Last year, I was burned out and fizzled out in July. This year, I got serious. I started thinking about doing well. I went on to place at Spenco, Couple's and Sweet & Twisted. I won 2nd at Urban Assault, and 1st at the Women's Adventure Race. I stayed committed to the plan and milked T3 (and formerly Woot Camp) for all it was worth.

I was thinking about posting my training totals, but I find them irrelevant now. I've put in the work. I've stayed committed. I have had my ups and downs, but I have always came out stronger. Longhorn is just the icing on the cake at this point.

I'm surprisingly calm. Almost excited, maybe? Of course I'd like to perform well, but I'm not really that concerned about time. I'm not an elite, nor will I ever be. I'm not going to win, nor will I come anywhere close. What I will have is six solid hours to reflect on the past year of training, commitment, frustrations, triumphs, new friends, old friends, love, loss, change and clarity.

I'm not going to predict anything about Sunday other than I hope I enjoy a really (really!) long workout. ;) I can tell you this much, I have had more fun training for this race than for any other race I've done. The experience has been invaluable, and I am thrilled to head to the start line with the attitude I have.

This year, I realized that I am only as good as I let myself be, and it was time to stop selling myself short. At triathlon, yes. But so much more importantly - it was time to stop selling myself short at LIFE.

I got an email from a client today that sums up my attitude right now, so I thought I'd share:
"I really enjoyed seeing you! And, did I mention you looked fabulous! I can see a glow about you that I have not seen in some time. I don't know what it is, but I hope it stays with you!"

Yup, me too. Bring it, Longhorn!!!

Vitamin D

Who needs therapy when you have a D in your life? Just sayin...