Saturday, January 31, 2009

I love you, January 2009!

Holy smokes, this has been the best week ever. Perhaps the best month ever, too. Can I just say that I LOVE 2009!!!! The month of January has been ten times better than all of 2008. YAY!!!!

So, in typical dork Erin fashion, I am hunkered at home for the evening - with plans of eating, rolling & watching art documentaries. (Simon Schama's Power of Art - they are AWESOME!!!!!!!!) Yeah, I really am this cool. :)

Anyway, I did my long ride/run yesterday and "ran" 15 miles this morning (yes, Katie, running has still divorced me!) I then had a fabulous afternoon relaxing and enjoying the 3mm. Built a coffee table, organized my recipe book, ate a bunch of peanut butter, chatted with D, and did laundry.

I'm very excited about tomorrow. Which is...wait for it... my first "off" day in 25 days! YAY! (I know, I know... bad Erin, very bad...)

What's on the agenda? Sleeping... pancakes... lounging...the perfect.

January 2009 started shaky, but in the end it was AWESOME. (Get that? I'm liking this year? Yeah?)

Okay, enough of publicly being a dork. I shall retreat and watch my art films. Sweet. :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Color Me Stupid

This morning, Katy & I were trying to figure out what color "stupid" is. I said it can't be purple. She said it can't be red, green or blue. Then we got it... the color of stupid is polar bears & stripes!Yup. Not only did I bring two different socks today, I at some point decided that these two socks MATCHED and thus rolled them together. Color me stupid. :) (A fine demonstration of the difference between getting dressed at home versus not.)

Since I had my webcam up, I thought I'd show off the awesome Texas weather. I have been going entire days without taking off my outer layer. Damn it's cold!
By the way, Katy, I'm wearing red, green and blue today! Does that cancel out stupid?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Falling Into Place...

I'm not sure I like the term "falling into place," granted I can't think of a better title to explain my current state. I don't like the word falling - not in this instance, not in the term "falling in love," and definitely not when I use it like, "I'm falling and I can't clip out... and never mind the fact that I'm on my trainer!" Not that that particular thing has, uh, ever, uh, come out of my mouth. Anyway....

Today was one of those crazy days that started out all wrong. I woke up at 4:30, only to go back to sleep and wake up at 6:45. That meant I missed core (one of my favorite workouts of the week) and had almost 2 hours to kill because I scheduled a breakfast meeting at 8:30. I was rather annoyed at myself, but what could I do. I actually got ready at home (gasp) and did my hair (gasp) and put on makeup (gasp) and had actual OPTIONS for my outfit (GASP!!) The reality of having space and options and TIME in the morning was pretty crazy.

Long story short, I was so disoriented this morning - up until about 10:30 - and things just seemed out of sorts. Perfect time to reframe, right? I ended up having the most fantastic day. It was just awesome. I worked harder than I've worked in months, had 2 great workouts, spent quality time with quality people, and found out some really good news.

To make a short story long (and vague and cryptic as ever) -things are coming together. I've felt like so much has been up in the air, but it's all starting to fall into place. Perhaps slowly, but still... very... real...

I'm excited. Very excited.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

first art...

I just bought my first two pieces of the year! YAY!!! These both are by Amanda Blake, who I find to be brilliant. Her ETSY shop is HERE if you want to see more....
Tessa with a heart

Nigel & Lily Embracing

I can't wait to get them. Not sure where I have room... but it's okay. I love them! :)

Monday, January 26, 2009


I got dumped.

I'm pretty heartbroken. I was in love, and this hit hard. We had been seeing each other for some time. We had a shaky start, because I was dating him really just to prove a point. He made sure that I felt a lot of pain and tested me to see if I was committed. After a while, though, things started really working for us. He was a positive influence in my life, and ultimately he made me feel good in ways no one else could. In fact, when I didn't see him for a day or two, I'd go pretty crazy.

The funny thing was that I started other relationships while we were together, and those just made this one stronger. There have been times when I have given much more focus to the others, but he still hung in there with me. That was, until seven weeks ago. Because seven weeks ago, I did something to piss him off and he left. But he didn't just leave; he left angry and made sure I was going to feel it. Physically... Mentally... He even convinced my other relationships to put the hurt on me, too. He left me desperate and sad and lost.

I've been in denial. However it all became clear yesterday. Looking back, it's clear to me that I became very greedy - wanting too much too soon.. I didn't nurture him, or respect my other relationships, either; instead I just took and took and took. He apparently did not appreciate that. (I'm learning, patience is certainly not my strong suit.)

There is hope, though. I am pretty sure he still has feelings for me. He's still around, hanging out with my friends, giving me glimmers of hope from time to time. I'm willing to work hard to get him back. It hasn't been easy, nor will it be. At times, I'm not sure I even want him anymore. Maybe I'll meet someone else who makes me feel even better. Maybe this is for the best.

Yet, I need him. He is part of me. I'm not giving up even though he's making me fight to get him back. I do not take getting dumped lightly, so I will fight.

I will fight, and I will plead.

Running - please, please take me back. I need you.

(haha... the odd stories & analogies I come up with in the middle of a long run. Had to put this one in writing... I'm glad to say that I at least ran the longest nonstop I've ever run yesterday - 14 miles. Well, the word "running" is relative - when walkers pass you, it might not be running anymore.)

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I feel like a poser. Like someone who wants to be an Ironman, but isn't at all Ironman material.
The weather & scheduling issues messed up my morning plans, and I couldn't figure out for the life of me what to do for the long ride. After many texts and attempts to stay in bed and drink coffee/do the crosswords, Esther & I braved the cold and wind in an attempt to ride 60 miles. We made it from our neighborhood to 360 & Westlake... stopped to regroup, ended up trying to warm up with coffee, and then headed back to the PTC to spin indoors. I didn't make it anywhere close to 60 miles, felt like loser (however, I am grateful for Esther), and now I have only half a building block to add to my IM pyramid. Go me.

And yet... the girl knows how to pose, right? (courtesy of Jane & the Everyday Ironman blog)
UGH. What can I say. Tomorrow's another day. At least I've enjoyed the rest of my Saturday.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

the best day!

i am having the best day ever. for no good reason either. my office thinks i'm nuts - with good reason - because i can't stop laughing today. everything is just so funny to me.

do you ever laugh so hard that you can't stop? and then you just keep laughing at yourself? my stomach is so sore from laughing - it might rival the soreness in my legs.

i'm actually laughing at myself for no reason right now. i'm a dork. and yeah, probably nuts, too.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday Forward

1. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

2. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Invest your energy in the positive present moment.

3. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

4. Life is not fair, but it is still good.

5. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

6. Don't take yourself too seriously. No one else does.

7. You are not so important that you have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

8. Make peace with your past so it will not spoil the present.

9. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

10. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Week Two: Base Camp & Building Blocks

Week Two... Check (!?)

This weekend was tough. I've had much harder training weeks before. Much harder rides and much harder runs. However, the long ride and long run this weekend wiped me out.

I wasn't going to say anything, but here's the truth. Many times this weekend, a heard a little voice tell me "you can't do it." It was not the usual "beat myself up voice," rather it was more of a resigned voice, one that was merely stating a fact and waiting to see if I'd agree.

I used to be rather obsessed with Mount Everest, so please pardon the following completely cliche analogies. Right now I am at base camp. I've put in a lot of time to get here, and I feel like it's an accomplishment in itself. Even with the accomplishment, it still hurts here. I'm cold, I'm tired, and I am rather unsure that I want to go back out, brave the cold and keep climbing. I know the summit will be amazing, but do I really need to go for it this time around?

Well, yeah. I do. I signed up for it. Of course it's going to hurt. But I will keep climbing. It's okay if I climb really slow, as long as I put one step in front of the other. It doesn't matter that the rest of my expedition is blazing by me, as long as I keep moving forward. (My sherpas help, I'll give you that!)

The second thing that kept me going this weekend was the idea of building blocks. During my run on Sunday, I kept visualizing a pyramid, with all of the blocks in place. Each block had something on it - this weekend's blocks said "50 mile ride" and "11 mile run." I imagined how shaky that pyramid would be if some of the blocks were missing. Honestly, this thought of standing atop a solid pyramid kept my feet shuffling forward. I think I'm going to hang on to this analogy - I find it very motivating.

So, this is what's up with me. I'm putting my thoughts out there, even though they are ugly and over dramatic. This is pretty difficult. It might get easier, but more than likely it will get harder. I just need to adapt and keep motivated. I took a page out of Elizabeth's book and stayed a hermit this weekend. Morphing into my couch seemed like a perfectly reasonable way to spend my days.

Week three... ready to keep climbing & building... Here goes!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Forward


Warning: this post contains reflective and certainly cheesy thoughts. If you are accustomed to rolling your eyes at my goofiness, prepare for an eye workout. :)

Last month, Suzanne sent me an email to tell me that the T3 coaches picked me to be athlete of the month. Something about my enthusiasm and dedication to practices. I emailed her back to ask if it was a joke - I mean, I hadn't shown up to practice in nearly 2 months. Then I realized what happened - Dionn put them up to this. Ah hah! Apparently that was not the case either. So, I emailed Suzanne my "triathlon story" and yesterday she sent out the announcement to the team.

So I feel like a complete dork now. But whatever, I'll practice embracing it.

The story is true... I was never an athlete. Ever. Ballet and cheerleading do not count. I tried to exercise in high school by doing "Sweatin' to the Oldie's" with my friends after school. I exercised in college because my beautiful, athletic roommate Jenna was a fitness instructor and would drag me along. My exercise post-college consisted of 30 minutes in the apartment gym a few times a week. I started running only to prove to an ex-boyfriend that I could run a mile nonstop. Vengeance, in this case, was sweet! I have no athletic skills or raw natural talent, but I've become hooked so I keep doing it.

I have come a long way since hanging out with Richard Simmons in high school. This rocks. But what's the point, really? I care far less about any race results than I do about the people I've encountered along the way. I have also learned so much from all of this training, both about others and about myself. (I love how "reframe" has become my word, too!)

I worked at a law firm through college, and my nickname was "Sunshine." I loved that. If I am remembered for nothing else, I hope I am remembered for making people feel good about themselves.

Ultimately, my point is this: I really appreciate the awesome feedback from my friends and training partners. I am definitely not at the top of any ability rankings for triathlon. However, if I can be a good source of energy, encouragement, etc. for others - then I consider myself a successful athlete. I certainly smile a lot. That's just my personality, but it is definitely nice to know that it means something to others.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Jane tagged me. :) Here's the deal: Go to your fourth picture folder and select the fourth photo.

Here's mine, from the Cow Parade in San Antonio, circa 2003! (Honestly, I had to keep digging and digging, past the fourth and fourth folder requirements. I'm hyper organized like that.)

Now I shall tag: Dionn, Maggie, Jess & Elizabeth!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Little Victory

Oftentimes, it's the little victories that are most significant.

I won a little battle in the big war. I feel awesome today. I have to remember this feeling for next time.

Monday, January 12, 2009


FYI - I just updated my blog list (on the right of this page, which you can see only if you are actually ON my page.)

That is a long list of blogs. Write on, people!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rapture in Rupture

What a fantastic day. It didn't go according to plan, but what can you do - adapt and endure.

I really should be asleep, but I still feel the adrenaline after watching Drumline Live tonight. I admit, I always wanted to be in the marching band. (I played the violin in orchestra instead. Not exactly the same thing.) The show was fantastic. But what really got me wasn't the show. Instead, I marveled at the fact that two of the obvious audience favorites were parts when the cast brought up an audience member to be part of the show. For me, hearing the audience cheer louder than usual goes to show our innate desire to watch other people succeed. No one wanted the guy to mess up on stage, or to see the little kid fail. At our cores, we want to watch others do well. This made me really happy tonight.

The rest of my day was spent doing things I love. Laundry (yes, I'm sick like that), cooking (with my new Viking stand mixer - freaking awesome!), crafting, listening and best of all - art! I went to see AMOA's exhibits before they close on the 18th, and then I headed over to the Arthouse to see Rapture in Rupture.

While I didn't particularly enjoy the art, some of the pieces did have a crazy effect on me. I stared at one piece for nearly 5 minutes while my heart pounded and my head spun. That's the great thing about art - you don't have to like it. You can experience it however you want and take away from it anything you want. Even though I thought this piece was horrific, the experience was profound.

I thought that the last paragraph of the exhibit's curatorial description was genius. (Not to sound too high-strung, but it describes my life philosophy dead on.)

"Collectively, the vivid and mesmerizing works in Rapture in Rupture encourage us to look more closely and critically at the world in which we live. On one hand, they point to humanity's numerous faults and failures, but on the other, they also reveal pockets of beauty and humor in the most unexpected places. This rupture perhaps speaks of our innate optimism as human beings - that we can learn to adapt and endure, and hopefully, change our ways before a different type of rapture takes place."


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Week One: Check!

I made it through my first week of IM training... and man do I feel great! Tired... hungry... but mentally and physically great. Glad to wrap up the week like this!

By the way, I LOVE THE FOAM ROLLER. Because of my new love affair (we get close and personal at least 2 times a day), my IT band seems to be much better. Thus, instead of focusing on pain during my long run, I was able to focus on the following, random thoughts.
  • The memorial ride for Erin this morning was awesome. There were so many of us riding the S. Mopac loop in silence for her - it was very touching.
  • Elizabeth makes me laugh, in a very good way. I was thinking about how she actually sent me a text message me to correct a misspelling from a prior text message.
  • I like my ponytail, and the way it swooshes back and forth when I run. Watching its shadow is a fun distraction.
  • How many other people will find a good song and push repeat on their IPods for miles on end? (My chosen song today was Kings without a Crown.)
  • 9 miles is kind of a joke compared to the 50Ks and 25Ks my friends ran at Bandera. Way to go Mike (6th m 50K) and Meredith (first f 50K) and Jo Dee (first f 25K)!
  • What is the deal with all the guys running in hooded sweatshirts on the trail? They make me giggle.
  • Dionn has lots of free time. :) That made me giggle, too. (By the way, she is doing an excellent job of teaching me the art of scheduling... and rescheduling... )
  • I think I really can do IM! (Today was my first good run in a while, and even though I ran so slowly, I ran nonstop and on very tired legs from all of my riding this week.)
Yup. Running by oneself inspires some random stuff. :)

On another note, I LOVE MY FOREMAN 360 GRILL! Tonight, I made chicken for the first time in my life. (Perhaps I should clarify - I mean edible chicken.) I'm really enjoying eating at home recently. This chicken business - what have I been missing out on for 12 years??!!! Yum!!!!

So, that's it. Week one is done. Tomorrow, I get the whole day off. Pretty damn excited about that. Thinking I may check out the AMOA & the Blanton before the current shows close. Other exciting things planned for tomorrow, too... good stuff.

I was asked today when "crazy Erin" was coming back... hopefully (and I really think this is true) she moved out of town. :)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Keeping it in Perspective

It feels pretty awesome to wake up (albeit at 5:00am) with a smile on my face.

It had been little while since I was excited to get up and take on my day. Yet I'm feeling better than ever this week. I'm starting to feel like myself again, mentally and physically. I feel more alert, more awake and much less stressed out. I also am starting to feel a little bit of fitness coming back (with the exception of running) - and that's pretty amazing after just 5 days. My body is returning (slowly, but noticeably) to its normal self.

I love waking up and sharing my mornings with 20+ people who are after the same goals as me. I love the encouragement from my friend and coaches. I love eating healthier and feeling good about my nutrition. I love going to sleep by 10pm and feeling refreshed in the morning. I love getting back into a routine and working to achieve something big.

I'm keeping things in perspective: for me - that something big isn't an Ironman medal & finish. It's the feeling I have right now.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Tired already?

This is me today. How is it only Day THREE of training and I feel wiped out!? I've been eating healthy, going to sleep early and not overdoing my workouts. Yet I'm already exhausted. It's merely 10:45am and I want to take a nap under my desk.

Instead, I will go to swim practice. I looked around during core this morning and realized how many people fared better than me during off season. (i.e. actually trained, got fitter, got leaner, etc.) I have quite the mountain to climb, but I'm ready... that is if I can actually wake up! :)

I did wake up from 1-2:00am this morning. My IT band was really hurting so I iced it and took some ibuprofen. Damn IT band... I thought it was better, but I seem to have reaggravated it during my measly 25 minute run last night. (That was obviously NOT what Maggie & I set out to do, but she took pity on my pain and let me walk it in.) I'm trying to figure out if my pain is real or mental, i.e. should I take it easy or do I run through it? I'm scared of hurting myself more, but I know that it's not going to be fun getting back into shape either. I just don't know.

The good news about waking up at 1:00am is that I saw Melvin! I noticed the light outside my bedroom was on, and in the haze - Melvin was standing there looking into the night. Strange cat - I was wondering where he'd gone. I now realize he's been living under my house... which reminds me, I need to get that opening fixed. :)

Okay, time to wake up!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Oops... day one of training and I flaked on my run workout. Sorry about that. I really hate it when I don't come through on my word. However, there was something far more important that required my time for the evening. No regrets about that one...

I'm striving for flexibility, which is good since every workout that I had planned this week so far has changed. And it's only Day 2! It's cool though, because enjoying myself (for instance, a warm spin class versus swimming outside in the freezing rain ) is far more important than being attached to a spreadsheet. At least that's what I'll keep telling myself. :)

My quest to complete my kitchen is almost done! I've unpacked everything my parents gave me and cleaned out the pantry. Yesterday I picked up some knives, a casserole dish and a wok. Jess - come back to Austin! I am helpless with you.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Nutrition Guides

Part of my job entails either taking people out to lunch every day, or attending some type of luncheon, board meeting, committee meeting, etc... My point is that I eat lunch out every day. (Sometimes breakfast too, to be honest!)

I've taken to trying to find nutrition guides before I head out. Two years ago, Meredith told me to look at Panera's guide, and I realized that I was eating WAY more than I thought. It was a good, sad lesson.

Today I'm hitting Jason's Deli, so I thought I'd see what should fit in my 400-500 calorie range. If you're curious, here's the guide. Just when I think I have a grasp on what good choices are - the nutrition guides shake everything up. For instance, the "plain jane potato" is 2291 calories!! A chicken club wrap? 864 calories. My favorite, the spinach veggie wrap? Still knocks out 359 calories.

I'm not trying to be obsessive by any means... but this is quite the reality check. Looks like I'm sticking to the salad bar. (But skipping my favorite - the gingerbread muffin. That sucker is 220 calories. And to think I've had 3-4 in one sitting before. Gross.)

By the way, if you really want to get depressed, check out the nutrition guides for places like Freebirds and Chipotle. Not even Ironman training can justify must of it!

Sunday, January 04, 2009


I'm back in Austin. My trip to Dallas was perfect. It was great to see my parents. It was so nice to curl up in bed, nod off to sleep and feel like a little kid - with no worries or responsibilities - even if just for a few nights. It was very nice to be taken care of.

Thanks to a very relaxing yet productive extended break... I'm feeling completely refreshed and back to my normal self. (Yes, skepticism is justified! But really, I feel great.)

The best line of the day, said while reviewing T3's "Keys to Success for IM Training:"

"Purpose. That confuses me."

I could have laughed all afternoon at that one. Maybe you had to be there.

Speaking of purpose... Yeah, there is an Ironman in my future. But I'm not thinking about that now. My purpose - i.e. the things that are exciting me right now- are getting back into a workout routine, feeling like I am accomplishing something, returning to my training body, eating healthy and seeing my friends more regularly. I'm going to take my purpose in little bites, rather than in one 6 month gulp. I shall enjoy each little success, each experience, each day. Most importantly, I shall enjoy myself.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Love for Dad...

My dad is so freaking cool. I just can't say enough about how awesome he is. (My mother rocks also, but that is for another post. For now... it's dad time...)

I have mentioned this before, but my dad is a true gym rat. I think this is fantastic, considering 4 years ago, he never worked out. Now he goes to the gym nearly every morning and walks, bikes and lifts weights. Today, I accompanied him to his first spin class! I was honestly a bit nervous because even though my dad is in great shape, he still only has the capacity of one lung due to asthma. Besides, spin is hard and I wasn't sure what he'd make of it. But he kicked butt!! I thought we were heading home after class, but no - he wanted to do 2 miles on the treadmill. The man is making me look like a lazy mound of goo! But I couldn't be prouder. :) Looks like 2009 will be the year my dad takes up cycling. So damn cool.

This afternoon, I accompanied my dad on another adventure - to the library. (Yeah, us W's know how to kick it!) He and Mom got new library cards and then explored the DVDs, music and audiobooks. We reserved three movies (Spellbound, Wordplay and Word Wars... yes, there is a theme) and I think he'll really start utilizing the library in the same way I do.

We had so much fun together today... texting each other inside Chico's while my mom shopped, redoing his work website, making inside jokes during dinner with our neighbors, and making fun of each other while looking through old picture albums. It is so cool to say that my parents are my friends. It is also so cool to see what I've inherited from each parent. (My dad's sense of direction, his love for sales and his utter goofiness were all very obvious today.)

Now, in a totally selfish way.... Here is the other reason why Dad is so freaking cool. This former pharmacist, turned professor, turned business owner runs a very cool manufacturer's rep company. This is the view of one of his showrooms, stocked with the most amazing kitchen stuff. Lucky for me, I get to "sample shop" whenever I'm home, taking whatever I please. It's long been a joke that I have the best cooking utensils out there sitting dormant in my cabinets.
But it's time to prove my worthiness. For today, Dad gave me a Viking stand mixer - complete with a full demonstration. This thing is amazing, and I'm so excited to put Jess's teachings to use. I hope to make him proud!
Mom went through the whole kitchen and loaded me up with 3 boxes of pots, pans, wisks, spatulas, containers, etc... So, upon my return to Austin, my kitchen will be fully stocked. I have no excuses not to cook. I am so excited!

I really love my parents. This impromptu trip has been one of my favorite Dallas trips yet. Just what I needed...

Friday, January 02, 2009


Fine, I'm making a resolution. Here goes:

I cannot make everyone happy. And... I have to be okay with that.


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Lazy in my Loft...

Have I mentioned before that my house has the coolest loft ever? It is the coziest most awesome place to hang out... and now that it is equipped with a TV, I've been been spending more time up there than ever.

Today, I spent all day up there. Did I meet my friends to ride my bike or swim? Nope! Instead, I ate M&M's and Hershey's Kisses and watched movies. Happy Lazy New Year to Me!

To review all the movies I have watched over vacation:
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • Scenes from a Marriage
  • Word Wars (a documentary on Scrabble)
  • Run Fatboy, Run
  • Drumline
  • 13 Going on 30
  • Then She Found Me
That is a lot of movie action, especially considering the first two were 2-disc sets. I liked every one of these movies. 13 Going on 30 like, totally, made me want to be 13 again. For realz!

My favorite, clocking in at 299 minutes, was Scenes from a Marriage. I watched the tv miniseries version instead of the film. The dialog was just brilliant. Some of my favorite lines: "We're pitiful, self-indulgent cowards that can't connect with reality and are ashamed of ourselves." "We're emotional illiterates. We've been taught about anatomy and farming methods in Africa. We've learned mathematical formulas by heart. But we haven't been taught a thing about our souls. We're tremendously ignorant about what makes people tick." My favorite: "You need to put a lot of effort into not caring." I highly highly HIGHLY recommend watching this film. Absolutely brilliant.

Anyway, it's been fun. I have seen more movies in the past few days than I saw total last year. I gotta say that I love my library - from which I've rented all of these movies. At the bottom of the check out receipt, it tells me how much money I've saved by checking things out at the library versus purchasing... and the total for 2008 read $9,720. (That is a lot of books, movies and audio books, huh?!)

So much for vacation... It's been wonderfully lazy. Tomorrow is going to hit like a brick.