Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year. New. Happy.


Wow...it's about 30 minutes until I ring in the new year (eastern time, that is) and as most do, they reflect on the last year. I think of the many blessings first:

health, roof over my head, and a new job that I am in love with! Then there were some athletic accomplishments, 2 Half Ironman, 4 Half Marathons and well...yes...the Ironman folks...the Ironman. (And the start of 2009 already has me dreaming about Arizona in November and what I can accomplish there.) and then some extra's along the way falling in love, lot's of fun travel, new friends (Carrie B., Ash and Brett, KAB, Anthony, JJ and my Gateway family) and then old friends where I was able to continue down a beautiful path of growth. And yet a tear is brought to my eye thinking of my friends Andi, Heidi, Heather and Robin who ventured to Idaho just for my Ironman. Mizz Fuller who supports each and every decision I make and allows me to join her in the pool by giving me a ride...and is well one of the MOST self-less people I have ever met. Slo-Diggity- a first time 70.3er, my ACL partner in crime and truly a wonderful person on the inside and out...thanks for staying close over the miles!! I know there are those that have touched my life in the past year that I am forgetting....but if you shared a cup of coffee, if we laughed or cried together, if we traveled to a race together, maybe swapped music favs,...you were certainly a part of the journey, my journey...and well, 2008 was pretty much a rockin' year. I think that is what I learned the most this past year is that each person has a part, or at least we certainly have the power to choose that. I am so fortunate and blessed to have friends that stick by in the yuck and push me to see the good and beautiful.

Yes, there were parts of 2008 that were hard and so very rough. The first 5 months I was living in a job that was tearing my soul out...I loved the job, but the environment...I did not and I have blessed and released those people that caused me hurt. I had some financial set-backs, totaled my car and am doing the bike commuting thing until I can afford a car the right way. There were a few friendships that really changed...more than I thought they would. In fact, it was one year ago tonight I was planning a New Years Day run with them. There are still moments I am sad, but then I also know some friendships stick for a season and not forever. And last, I continue to see those I love move through cancer and hope for a miracle.

But all of these...good and bad, make me who I am and allow me to trust that much more in what God has for me...and possibly in 2009! I am a goal oriented person, but I will keep that for my personal journal because well, I am super self-motivated!! :)

It is exactly two years ago that I moved to Austin, TX and well...I LOVE IT IN THE ATX!!! It has truly been the best move I have made for myself in career, in personal life and love, in truly feeling like I am HOME. I didn't feel that for 9 years in Orlando and didn't know I was missing something until I moved to Austin.

I am in Virginia, spending the night babysitting my precious niece and nephews so my sis and bro-in-law could go out and it was worth it! I wouldn't have had it any other way (except maybe Sam come along next time). And with that as 2008 wraps up (and it takes me all of January to remember putting 2009 on things) here are a few Irving Berlin lyrics...

One minute to midnight
One minute to go
One minute to say good-bye
Before we say hello

Sunday, December 21, 2008

no pain, no gain...right??

So I have expressed to a few friends at how I don't want to get on the bike right now...I'm just a little over it, can't seem to get motivated to turn those wheels on the weekend. I know that not riding will not change the speed factor on the bike. Then I had a friend send me this quote:

"To be a cyclist is to be a student of pain....at cycling's core lies pain, hard and bitter as the pit inside a juicy peach. It doesn't matter if you're sprinting for an Olympic medal, a town sign, a trailhead, or the rest stop with the homemade brownies. If you never confront pain, you're missing the essence of the sport. Without pain, there's no adversity. Without adversity, no challenge. Without challenge, no improvement. No improvement, no sense of accomplishment and no deep-down joy. Might as well be playing Tiddly-Winks."

So I am going to print this out, put it up where I can see it at my office, at my house and January 1 begins time back on the bike again. I wish I could take some of the running/swim energy and transfer that to the bike..

I have been back in the water 3 times a week, putting in around 2800 m each time...thanks to the Mizz Fuller who has been my chariot while still car-less...In the new year, I would like to start going 3-4 times per week and that excites me. I am really loving the water. It could be that I just read the new Phelps book, No Limits? It might be...however I have also found that I have a new crush...it's Jason Lezak. Does anyone know how I could meet him? ok..sorry...off the subject.

In the running world I have had a good fall of PRs in the Half marathon distance...3 more to close out that season...Disney Half, 3M and then the Austin Half. Then I will be in Triathlon season and will start to get that race schedule together.

And as this blogged started out....WHEN WILL I START TO LOVE CYCLING AGAIN??? Right now...I am uninspired and I just hate that. Help??

Friday, December 5, 2008

SURPRISE!!!!!!!



I have been holding this in for over a month. And CAN'T believe that all was pulled off without a hitch for someone that is a gem of a friend!! A few months ago, one of my closest life friends, Andi Canny, let me know she was doing another photography/art show at Infusion on December 6th. In my brain I thought...Can I make it there? (here is where I would like to thank Jet Blue for the direct and rather cheap flight) You see Andrea has recently started to sell her photography, which is pretty amazing and genius! What is great about our friendship is that we met singing at Disney and when we found out that we had other talents, we encouraged one another to pursue those wholeheartedly. The past couple of years have been that for Andrea and I. Andrea was one of my friends that really supported me in my decision to leave full-time performing and work in the fight on cancer...hence the job with the Lance Armstrong Foundation and Andrea started working diligently on getting her photography onto canvas's and postcards, notecards. Her first showing earlier this year....went...well, better than great!! And so now she is being brought back for her second show and I can't wait to see what she has done! (don't worry Austinites, I am hoping I can get her to our land at some point to do a showing!!)

On top of that....Andrea flew out to Idaho for my very special day of becoming an Ironman. And she will never know what that meant to me....because I didn't want to be alone that day, and I wanted others to see what I had worked so hard for AND she has seen me climb the ladder of Triathlon. A few nights before my day, she wrote this to me:

When we're kids, what do we think we're gonna do when we grow up? Mostly we think about what we're going to BE when we grow up, not knowing that BEING and DOING are two very different things. And that we'll have so many inner dialogues debating the definition of these. While we are living our lives, we dream, we react to what else happens and sometimes never follow those dreams...leaving us feeling cheated and flat...sometimes failed. Although, where usually that spot lends good company, we don't feel any better about ourselves.

If we are lucky or blessed (whichever you prefer) we meet people we can call friends that accept us, love us and inspire us in immeasurable ways. I am such a blessed person. I've proven my mother's theory of being "lucky enough to have a handful of true friends in this life" wrong. I don't prove it out of spite or to prove any Universal law. It just IS...TRUE for me. And I am forever thankful and grateful. One of those friends is Colleen Wilson.

Colleen and I first bonded via humor as I thought she was so f$*(in' funny in the original cast of "Theme Park Diva", the brain child of my genius friend, John deHaas. Then, we ended up in Vybe, a singing group at Disney. That is where we truly bonded and began to enjoy a true mutual admiration society. We became roomies and she was the "Kate" to my "Allie" when I went to Japan and took care of my Tony Baloney in my absence...giving me the comfort of knowing he was in loving hands.

We became sisters, sharing the bathroom naked(sorry boys, no pictures), boy stories, drunkfests ("boobieeeeessss!!!"), small fights, tearfests for many reasons, big or small and slept easily knowing someone close had our back, no matter the reason or hour. You can't buy that. You could buy an employee....but you can't buy the feeling deep in your soul that knows and enjoys the beauty of true friendship. And this true friend is a CHAMPION MOTHER FUCKER!!!!!!!!! And a rockin' queen of music, but that's another blog!

Colleen is swiftly approaching the day of her first Full Ironman competition!!!!!(Sunday, June 22, my Dad's b'day!) I was there to witness the beauty & excitement of her first 1/2 Ironman here in Central Florida. The pic of her here on my page, with her medal and Bud Light is from that race! We got the beer from a stranger!! Lovely stranger! She has since done so much, including her 2nd 1/2 Ironman in Austin, her true home.

But this Sunday I will be there with the beautiful and vibrant Robin Grasso, Heidi Hanna & Heather Komorous to root Colleen on in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho during her 13+ hour race! (We will be hydrating with Mimosas and Mojitos~) A full Ironman is a 2 1/2 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride and finished with a full marathon(26.2miles)!!!!! She fucking rocks!!!!!!!!!! Seriously! Who the FUCK does that!!!!!???? Ok, so lots of other people do that, but their not my friends, so fuck 'em! No, really, I think they are great too, but I'm just so proud of my friend for following her dream.

She's trained countless hours, endured accidents resulting in injuries, altered her daily lifestyle and nutrition needed to withstand such training. All the while keeping a full & overtime job with a non-profit cancer organization. All of this is a lot but many people do it. But, not all people do this after such life trials as my friend has endured and risen above. This part of her story is not mine to tell, but there have been great burdens for her to bear, obstacles to navigate, physical and emotional. She is my CHAMPION!!!!!

I know I'm not changing the world by writing this blog. But, my life has been changed. Changed by this beautiful and wondrous friend. Her dedication, drive, constant sense of humor and thumb on reality keep me coming back time and time again for inspiration! She's not only been there for me as a friend, but just by being HER, her TRUE SELF, she has inspired me in countless ways. I will not only be at Coeur d'Alene in body but my whole spirit will be there, enjoying the bounty of her work!!!!! Reveling in her dedication to her dream! She has done this not for a charity(although she can't even count the hours she has dedicated to charity!), for a boy or for a drunken bar challenge(perhaps this is the next dream!). She has done this for HERSELF. As women, we are constantly taught to do only for others and not ourselves. This is where I bring out the oxygen mask example...put the mask on YOURSELF first and then on others you are helping!

I will be cheering on, gladly, happily and proudly while my dear friend realizes her dream!!! What a true JOY!!!! What a gift...she will be giving herself.....she will be giving me and all who love & support her!!! And all because she is living her true life......DOING what she wants to BE when she grows up....AN INSPIRATION TO ALL WOMEN!!!!!!

Love yourself and then love your friends....and if you're like me....love them hard first and keep working on loving yourself!!! Who's to say at the end of your life that the two won't meet at that lovely crossroad!!!!??

Rock on, Sister Colleen!!! See you there!!!! Andi


ok....so I have saved this letter from Andrea since my weekend in Idaho. When I start to doubt or when things get tough, I read it. The crazy thing is...or I guess the cool thing is I could say the same for her. Andrea is making the choice to live and pursue everything that truly wants from this life and I am blessed to have a front row seat to her life. (and to think that her and I were in Japan at the same time working and barely said 5 words to eachother!!! Timing truly is everything)

The move from Orlando to Austin has allowed me to open my eyes and see just who my real friends are. And Andi is right...Austin is my true home, but I will always go back for weekends of Marc Broussard, Seito Sushi, a Half Marathon (yeah, I know...I'm not right), her fabulous art show and many more memories and laughter. This is just the weekend I needed. Andi- it is YOU that inspire me and you push me the extra mile each and every day. I will laugh with you until we grow very old....so glad I could do this for you this weekend!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

So you will stop asking me....


Armstrong to Race in 2009 Tour

New York Times-- Lance Armstrong will ride in the 2009 Tour de France, marking the first time he will compete in that race and the Giro d'Italia in the same year.

''I'm committed to riding for the best guy,'' Armstrong said Monday, acknowledging the taxing schedule could leave him riding in a supporting role in France. Armstrong's Astana team includes 2007 Tour winner Alberto Contador and is loaded with other talented riders.

''We'll abide by the same code that I do: cycling is team sport, while we'd all like to win,'' the seven-time Tour champion told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Tenerife in the Canary Islands where Astana is training.

The 37-year-old Armstrong stunned the cycling world in September, when he announced he was ending his three-year retirement. He's scheduled to return to elite racing Jan. 20 for the Tour Down Under in Australia.

He has dedicated his comeback to raising awareness for his global fight against cancer.

After voicing concerns in recent weeks about his personal safety in France, Armstrong dismissed that issue Monday: ''It's not going to keep me from going and doing my job, and it's not going to keep me from spreading my message.''

Chocolate....PLEASE!!!

Ever had one of those days where you wish everything were made of chocolate? Well that is me....today. In fact, this picture about says it all. And I didn't get this from the internet...this is the daughter of close friends of mine...

Much better weekend....

Thanksgiving was a rough day, but I got through it. I always do. Woke up on Friday and wanted to start off fresh so I met my riding buddies Clark and Kim to ride the Progress route. What was supposed to be 50 miles, turned into 60. And the wind picked up and it got colder as the ride went on.....but thank goodness for friends! Especially Clark who stayed with me when the last 15 miles felt like I was cycling through mud. (I was having some IT band issues that day...needed to roll it out) Shared a few beers with them at the end of the ride and then was on my way.

Picked up a rental car, did a Target run.....and then was back home to relax and eat dinner.

Saturday was a church rehearsal for Sunday and then I ran a bunch of much needed errands. Another early night in as I wanted to start the Mad Men series. I have had a lot of friends tell me it's a good one to watch, so I rented the first season DVDs and put my feet up for the night.

Sunday was an early morning and onto church for some singing...the first service I saw some familiar faces...Carrie, Eddie, Jodi, Jonathan, Terra and Zane! Sang all 3 services and then headed home to change so I could go for a 7 mile run. I NEVER run with my iPod as you can't race with them, but decided to throw it on as I had gotten a few new CDs via iTunes. I wanted to escape for the 7 miles and take a listen. Not worried about time as I have a Half Marathon next weekend, just an easy 7 mile run. Started out with listening to this album:

She is totally rockin, especially Track 2 with vocals and bass. Delicious. Check her out, you won't be disappointed. Of course, once again a UK artist has done it! Then for the last 3 miles I turned my iPod to shuffle and Beyonce's new "Single Ladies" song came on. I am not normally a fan of Beyonce's...in fact, I can't remember why I downloaded this song? But this song made me pick up the pace and I couldn't get the catchy chorus out of my head all night long. (just ask Sam) It's my new favorite jam and apparently my friend Kennys says the entire album is worth buying...I am not sure if I will do this just yet but at least I can shake it to this tune...here is the video. Who doesn't want to dance around in a onesie like this?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Great Expectations...

Why do I have expectations for the Holidays that are clearly unrealistic? It's Thanksgiving and I was not intending to be by myself today being that I have been dating someone for 7 months now. Yes, his family is in town and I thought we might be together today. That is not the way it worked out at all. A conversation this morning changed everything....and I do mean everything. And with that on this holiday....I am by myself.

Making plans to go get food at Casa (where they serve it up Vegan style) and then probably a movie so I don't have to sit here in the apartment. Alone. (well, except for Eloise, my sweet dog. And truthfully, at least she won't make me cry, so I am happy to have her around.)

And I just might drink a bit of wine today....because I don't want to feel the hurt.

In the tradition of this holiday....I am truly thankful for my family (however, I miss them more than they could possibly know), health, and my job.

Happy Thanksgiving......I hope each of you can spend today with someone you love.

Monday, November 24, 2008

For 2009 it will be....




After a few months of sleeping in, sitting on my ass and doing a whole lot of nothing.....i have planned the race schedule for 2009...It will be a long, hot summer for me with these two races but the first, 70.3 in Augusta, GA will allow to race right where my parents live. This way no travel for them, but they will finally get to see me race a triathlon, which is something I have wanted for a long time! YIPPPPEEEEE!!

And then will come Ironman AZ. Yes...another Ironman. I can't believe I said never. Cause I didn't mean it. I will take on the 140.6 miles with my good friend Desiree in Tempe, AZ. Here we go again folks!

The Impromptu, Un-Rehearsed Weekend....

What an incredible weekend I had! It was weekends such as what I am about to describe that I miss Austin when I am traveling a lot! I had no set plans other than singing at church on Sunday morning....and this is how the weekend unfolded.

Saturday- woke up and Miss Fuller picked me up for a wonderful morning of swim!! I am starting to get jazzed about being back in the water and really have a desire to get stronger again. We put in 2800 m with Coach Pain and felt really good! SIDE NOTE: Y'all better watch out for Miss Fuller-Phelps. She ain't playin' anymore in the water. She is getting faster with each practice and I can't wait to see what the next Tri season holds for her! Way to go lady!! After this, Fuller and I changed and went on a 4 mile run. She is training for the Austin Half in February and so it was good to get in some friend time and a quick run. I will be doing another Half Marathon in a few weeks....I know. I know.

Fuller then dropped me off at the house, I showered and then caught the bus down to the Farmer's Market...with $20 in hand, I got some tasty vegetables and got a message from Mel. She wanted to ride for 2 hours, easy, conversational and ride South over to the Tuesday nighter course. PERFECT!! I would love to! So yes, I did a broken Triathlon on Saturday just because I can. None of the workouts being hard, but fun hang times. Riding with Mel was great! We did some "interesting maneuvering around construction" (but that is all I will give away here) and had good conversation for 2 hours. I love it when days unfold like that and you weren't expecting it!

Saturday night was just some time with Sammy and early to bed as I sang at church on Sunday morning. Church was great as it was the last weekend of Soul Revolution, a 60/60 experiment in being connected with God. What I loved the most about this service is Gateway did a reverse offering. Yes, you heard that correctly. At the end of the message, the pastor had volunteers issue envelopes. Inside were different amounts of money. We had to take that money and give it to or turn it into something good. I know...nuts, right? Even my pastor said that. It brought back the point from a few months ago where I heard, We serve an uncivilized God, who calls uncivilized people to do uncivilized things. It's great because the band decided to pool the money we got in our envelopes and we are going to help a musician in need in the community. More details later on this! After church was the Empty Bowl Project, which was great. My walk home consisted of listening to a new artist, Lamya, (THANKS JASON!!!)....and putting the iPod on shuffle.

Sunday afternoon was a really good nap! (smile) and then Sunday evening was 24 Premier, AMA's, Colts game (another nail biting WIN!!) and more time with Sammy.

It's Monday and I am looking forward to two days of work this week and then some good riding the rest of the week! I am staying in Texas for Thanksgiving!

Later today I will post a few things about my races in the next year! YIKES!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I am beautiful, no matter what they say....

"When our world falls apart and we have no more faces to wear, that's when it's beautiful, and that's when we change." --Jon Foreman.

I love this quote above. I just love it. A friend shared this with me today and so I had to post it. I am learning a lot right now. I am learning it is ok to not know. The unknown has and will always be scary for me but the unknown is really causing me to trust right now. I went to church this past Sunday night after a really great morning running the San Antonio Half....a 1:51 for me...which is a Personal Best. I was 82 out of 1868 in my age group, Top 100 as Sammy would say, which is pretty darn good! Anyway, back to this post. The talk at church was really good and just what I needed. I need to know I don't have to perform. I am learning that sometimes I do wear different "faces" as I don't know that I want people to see the real, hurting me. It's not big big stuff, it's small stuff. Still trying to peal away some layers of hurt....and that can be hard. I need to know it is ok to make mistakes and I needed to hear....it is ok not to know. There is not an age that you need to have it all figured out....and that has caused the panic to go away.

So in catching up....

I had a good time traveling for work and meeting so many wonderful fundraisers for the LAF...NYC was especially great because this marathon is the cream of the crop! if you are going to do just one marathon....do that one! Trust me, it is worth it! 140 LAF runners and $500,000 raised! What a great time!

Now life back in Austin for a few weeks...which will be nice! I am going to get in some good cycling hopefully in the next few weekends. (Carrie, you in?) The weather could not be more perfect!

I am still without a car, but ok with that. I feel like I am not making any quick decisions and well, it is quite easy to get around Austin via bicycle or now the bus! (as Sammy has helped me figure out) In fact, I am enjoying taking the bus to and from work as I get up, go to the Coffee Shop on the corner and then walk about 3/4 mile to a bus stop at the bottom of the hill. Catch it and 3 stops later...I am at work. And it's only .75!!!

My race plans changed a bit next year. I thought I was going to do Ironman CdA again but due to some work conflicts, that is not going to happen. I will be doing an Ironman but that is yet to be determined as I have a good friend that would like me to do it with her. So possibly Ironman AZ is on my horizon. I think the Spring will be about Olympic Distances and just enjoying the "shorter" course again! I will go to St. Anthony's in April, Columbia IronGirl in May, some local races in June and July...a half Marathon here and there. In September, Ironman Augusta 70.3 so my parents can come out and watch me race!! I am most excited about this and then....Ironman FL or AZ in the fall?? Stay tuned.

And if you think about it....say a prayer for a friend that is facing cancer diagnosis #2 today. My heart is hurting for her and her 3 children. I pray the test is negative.

ok....I will be back more regularly...promise!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Empty Bowl Project

The Empty Bowl Project is a nationwide effort by potters to end hunger. From what I hear this is a really great event and it is this weekend in Austin!! Purchase a bowl for $15 that has been painted by a local artist, fill it up with some food of various Austin vendors that will be there! Sit, eat, enjoy live music and then go get your bowl cleaned and wrapped up to take home!! This would be a great Christmas present....buy a bowl, gift it and let the friend know that it helped feed someone with no food this holiday season!!!

I will be there? will you?

Monday, November 17, 2008

updates....coming soon?

I know. I know....enough of the threatening emails and phone calls that I have not been good in the last month of blogging....(I love it that it is a verb now) I have much to catch you up on...hopefully in the days to come I will get a chance to write on one OR all of these topics...

*LIVESTRONG Challenge weekend and the amazing 5k and 65 mile ride I endured
*my trip to NYC with Team LIVESTRONG and in seeing really great friends!
*Election night in Times Square!
*the cancellation of Ironman CdA for next due to work conflicts.
*a realization of the pressure I continue put on myself.
*possible new album with Scotty...(a friend I have wanted to collaborate with for quite some time...this album will be amazing)
*my good friend Carrie B. (miss Tri To Be Funny blog found at the right)
*San Antonio Half marathon= a PR for me! (1:51)
*looking to December and 2009.

I promise...I will return!!!!



Life in the fast lane obviously over the past few weeks.....but I do want to write on as much of this as I can

Friday, October 24, 2008

LIVESTRONG Challenge weekend

This weekend will be busy seeing some old friends that I rode with in RAGBRAI and even seeing a runner from my Hood to Coast weekend! I sat with Wendy Chioji this morning planning the next big exciting fundraising event for the LAF! Truly exciting! I love it that my job is built around relationships and running a 5k and doing a 90 mile bike ride.

There are many people I will think of this weekend who have fought cancer bravely! I am still raising money if you would like to go and make a donation..no amount is TOO small! Please go to THIS LINK to add in a donation.


Have a great weekend and tell someone that you love them!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Meet 6 NYC runners for a cause!!


Meet the 6 NYC Marathon Runners -- powered by http://www.livestrong.com

Dancing with the Stars?



First, bravo to the person who used photoshop on this. Bravo. Second, does anyone else feel like they are ready for the Season Finale of this thing we call a presidential election? Yes, this election has reinvigorated America and more people are seeing the need to vote. Yes, we have seen some rather wonderful mud-slinging and negativity on BOTH sides. Yes, the debates left much to be desired. (if you ask me)

Palin- My mom always said if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all. At first, I thought she would be decent, watching her at the RNC, and thought "well, she doesn't waiver at least." I think in the end a running-mate who is a gimmick doesn't help you. I am not going to say anything else because I realized I was not doing what I wrote in the first sentence of this paragraph.

Biden- He consistently strays off the message (wait- isn't that the definition of a poltician?) He is too into himself and not the good promoter of the top of the ticket.

Then you get to the Presidential candidates. On my bike ride to work this morning I thought about the final debate. A LOT. I have to go vote tomorrow as I am in NYC election week. And I will honest, I don't know who I will vote for.

I would rather not voice what I think on those candidates. Do the research folks. Don't vote a certain way because it "seems right" or you were "brought up that way" Use the brain you were given and vote for what YOU believe.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Spontaneous Saturday

I love it when you plan a day and it turns out even better than planned. I got up around 615 AM this morning as Fuller picked me up for Swim practice with T3. We put in a good 2700m...which Fuller kicked my ass in the 10x50m sprints we did. Good gravy she can move it on those sprints!!! It felt great as we were done with our workout by 815...right on time!!

As she drove me home we both mentioned that we hadn't seen our friend Ms. Brown.....so I text her and she was looking for some people to go running on the trail with her...Fuller was in and so was I! Originally I had planned to get right on my bike but you know, I don't HAVE to do anything right now as my race schedule is empty for the time being (and I am ok with that, especially since I am trying to figure out this new "lifestyle" of being vegan.

Anyway...sorry back on track....we met up and ran 3 miles on the trail, hit some breakfast taco action (mine was potato and black bean) and then Fuller took me home. I got in a brief nap (just one hour), hopped on my bike and put in 50 miles. I went about 35 miles hard and the other 15 were me running different errands around town.

Tonight will be an easy evening at home....some veggie burgers, green beans and brown rice. YUMMMMMMM!!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Heart Brandi Carlile

She's a genius at her music and in her lyric. My good friend Fuller sent this to me as a Friday tune....

I can't wait for the new album in February.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

love it that he loves me.


I normally don't blog on Sammy.....but I can't say enough of how wonderful, amazing and giving he is.

I got back from a long work trip and he had taken great care of miss Eloise, he had cleaned the apartment, had dinner waiting and had two tickets to Marc Broussard on the 24th plus a brand new journal for me. We went to see the MB show the very first week we were dating....it's not his favorite band, but its mine....he is one of the most self-less people I have ever known.

I am super lucky.

Skinny Bitch



Well, little did I know that in traveling back from Chicago....Colleen would vow to GO VEGAN yet again. I have read 2 books over the past couple of weeks. Diet for A New America by John Robbins and just happened to pick up the quick and easy read...Skinny Bitch, pictured here.

Now, I have done the no dairy, no meat thing before...but in the last year have gotten away from that. I put soda back in my "diet" as that Coca-Cola tasted OH SO GOOD after a 7 hour bike ride. And it just kind of snowballed from there. I have noticed my skin to go bad again, lumps on my ass that weren't there AND my allergies have been freaking out. Maybe I should step away from that bowl of deluxe queso.

On my flight back, I started to read Skinny Bitch and well...the girls put it pretty darn simple, "you cannot keep eating the same shit and expect to get skinny. Healthy=skinny and Unhealthy=fat." huh...really? Have I really looked the other way for SOOOOOO long. They make very clear in this book that they are not promoting a diet, it is a way of life. A way to enjoy food. to feel clean, energized and pure. In other words..."IT'S TIME TO STRUT MY SKINNY ASS DOWN THE STREET...."

I am just gonna throw it out there...I have been trying to take off the last 15 pounds that stick to my stomach and ass for a couple of years now but when I looked at whether I have really made the changes necessary. I have not. Plain and simple.

So yesterday it started. (and thankfully my wonderful guy Sammy is willing to do this with me) No more cheese. No more meat. Only natural sweetners. (and if you ask me where I will get my protein and iron...I have a really good answer for that per the books I have read) No more sugar...it is the devil. Only natural, organic sweetners AND NO MORE COFFEE OR CAFFEINE. And for the first month...no alcohol. I am on day 2 of this and it is hard, but I know the reward will be huge...and possibly those lumps on my ass will disappear. So don't be offended if I don't want to share that bowl of queso or go get some BBQ with you, I am making the changes for last health and removing the shit from my system.

There. I said it. Now you know. Support me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

SURVIVOR Notebooks- PLEASE READ!!!

Free Shipping on 20 or more LIVESTRONG Survivorship Notebooks

At the Lance Armstrong Foundation, providing access to helpful information and tools is one of the key ways we fulfill our mission to inspire and empower people battling cancer. Now the LAF is helping to make it easier than ever for those affected by cancer to navigate their cancer experience.

From now until December 15, 2008, you can receive free shipping on 20 or more LIVESTRONG™ Survivorship Notebooks by visiting www.livestrong.org/notebook/bulk.

The easy-to-carry, spiral-bound LIVESTRONG™ Survivorship Notebook provides a variety of information covering the physical, emotional, and practical issues that may accompany a cancer diagnosis. It also includes worksheets that help prepare for medical appointments, track medications and treatments, and organize insurance and financial information.

Get a notebook for yourself, a family member or friend. Share them with other cancer survivors by distributing them to support groups, your doctor’s office, or a cancer center in your community. There are more than 12 million cancer survivors living in the U.S. today, so help the LAF spread the word by forwarding this email to anyone you know who has been affected by cancer. Together, we can deliver the resources and support that help people affected by cancer live life on their own terms.

And please forward this message to others who can help us in this important effort.

LIVESTRONG,
Colleen

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

allergies...

I had a "strange" falling out recently with someone. I would like to say...it is not someone I deemed myself super close to, just someone I was getting to know. Those of you that know me and know me well.....how do you say it exactly? I am allergic to bull shit. I can't stand it when people look at the "glass half empty" side of life more than 50% of the time. That is no fun. Debbie Downer is fun for SNL, but for real everyday life....positivity is the way I roll. I had some not so great circumstances earlier in this year with being un-satisfied with job and life...yet I CHOSE to put a damn smile on my face every day and deal because I knew that I had the ability to CHOOSE my attitude. And the end result being that I know I am in the right place right now in life and love. If you are unhappy with things....CHANGE THEM YOURSELF or put the people around you that will move you to that. I am not in my 20s looking for everyone to be my BFF, it doesn't work that way.

(and by the way...there is a tracker on my blog...I know you still check it)

blah...blah...blah

Ok, so I have had NO time, I repeat NO time to do this thing called blogging. ACL weekend flew by...(much love to SLODIGGITY)...and then my world became all things marathon and cycling for work AND I had the Longhorn 70.3 this past weekend. No, I did not do the entire race....I did the swim and the bike for this event to get in some good training...more on this later in the post.

ACL in a nutshell. It was great and I will always love the few and far between minutes I get with my Steph. The first evening was about Patty Griffin. When she started her set with Heavenly Day...I knew it was going to be a good. It emanated from the five-piece huddled in a small circle. Two acoustic guitars. An accordion. An upright bass. Traps of modest size graced with jazz brushes. My favorite of the set? Waiting for My Child...Griffin's voice was so soulful that you could have sat there another hour and been entrapped. It can be said,...Blondes have more fun. Brunettes can read. Redheads, they sing. Friday afternoon of ACL saw two such enflamed songbirds. After miss Patty I saw non other than Jenny Lewis.

What I can say about her is if you do not have her new album, Acid Tongue...go get it and then let me know what you think. It's divine.

On Saturday of ACL my highlite was...the Old 97s &Beck. At 1230, Steph and I were ready to ROCK and get our faces melted off (that was for you Chad) by none other than Rhett in his beautiful red pants. (sigh) The closer of the evening was Beck. I had this HUGE dilemma of Allison Krauss and Robert Plant or Beck. I even thought...WWSD?? What Would Scotty Do? (he is a super cool guy with amazing taste in music, you can't go wrong with what he recommends) Scotty told me to go to AK...and well, I didn't. I had seen AK before but had NEVER seen Beck in all his glory. I am glad I went...it was good. Can't really put it into words. His musicianship is amazing, bizarre...you have to experience it once.

Sunday was Nicole Atkins & the Sea (thanks Megan!!!) who was really incredible. She is up and coming, check her out. You will thank me. Again. Her voice is quite rich and her lyrics compelling. There were many good acts along the way and then Steph and I were excited to see Tristan Prettyman as we got some good shade and a few snow cones to cool us off. Silversun Pickups were next. They were...just ok. His shouting and screaming got to me after awhile....my favorite of the day? Tegan and Sarah....go get their stuff. Quite awesome. Canadian sisters that can rock and have a good time!

So that is ACL in a nutshell!

Then crazy work week...a few workouts here and there...and then Longhorn 70.3 where I helped out a bit at Jack & Adam's, and then got my bike and gear ready to do the swim and bike portion. Although the swim was a bit short according to record breaking times...I came in at 31 minutes for the 1.2 miles....even if just a bit short I would have broken the 48 minute time of last year by leaps and bounds!! THANK YOU T3 swimming!!! I could not have done it without their fantastic coaching...I am not Windmill Wilson any longer!! The 56 mile bike was fun and easy and a good training ride.

Now...I am getting ready to take a team of awesome LIVESTRONG runners to Chicago for the marathon this weekend. (no, I am NOT running it) I am there to cheer and party with them!

The weather looks perfect....I hope I can get better with the blogging thing.

GOOD LUCK DESIREE FICKER AND PAT EVOE AT KONA THIS WEEKEND!!!!!!! GO AUSTIN!!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

ACL. 2008. Done.

I know my regular readers are waiting for my ACL review. Three days of FUN. I need some time to rest and recover for sure. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 26, 2008

ACL- 2008 Here WE COME!!!



Oh friends...it's that time again. Yes it is. Got to see a Private show of Blues Traveler last night....I want...you to want me! Good stuff. Alida is in town. Stephanie arrives very soon!! Girl time. Good music. Great beer...(I promise Bill I will watch Stepanie's intake since she is in serious Half Ironman training...I promise)

On the schedule for today?

Vampire Weekend
Freddy Jones Band
PATTY GRIFFIN
Jenny Lewis
G Love and Special Sauce
Manu Chao

Stay tuned for some reviews of all things ACL.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Great weekend...ACL here I come!!!

I had a great end of the week into the weekend.....happy days folks, happy days...

Finished up at my week at the LAF where there is a lot of excitement and buzz over "going global." Check out this video at this LINK if you get the chance. It is an 8 minute video on Stigma and Silence: Global Perceptions on Cancer. Research that was done and now put on video...watch for Lance at the Clinton Global Initiative on Wednesday...it is exciting times as we all have the opportunity to globally change this disease forever. I am also fundraising for the LIVESTRONG Challenge...if you would like, go to THIS LINK AND DONATE!! Every amount helps in the fight against cancer! I am going to do a 90 mile ride in honor of a colleague here at the Foundation that is currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.

Saturday was a bike ride with my co-worker, Kim..we took on the Dam Loop and well...let's just say running the hills does NOT mean you can still ride them. Dripping Springs and 90 miles should be VERY interesting. Saturday night was a yummy dinner with Sam and relaxing time together.

Sunday...got up for a nice swim with T3. That made my total for the week just short of 9000 m....I feel good and strong in the water. After that, met up with a co-worker to walk the dogs at Town Lake. Then Sammy and I went to church, ran many many errands (as I had a car for the weekend) and after grocery shopping, we spent some more time relaxing together. It is rare that Sammy has off a Sunday...so we took full advantage of that! He is off to Italy tomorrow...I know, world travelers we are!! He will wrench for the Duathlon Worlds this coming weekend...I will miss him but it falls on a good weekend as Stephanie and Alida are flying to Austin for a great weekend of music....just go here for the ACL lineup. And then be jealous...cause for 3 days, it will be girl time and good stinkin' music!!! How I would love for the 80 degree weather to stick around! I blogged quite a bit last year on the ACL experience...so stay tuned!! I'm so excited...and I just can't hide it!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Swim, Monday, T3

Disclaimer: Carrie don't read this. You might have a worse crush.

Got back in the pool with T3 after ALL the crazy travel in the last month. I DID stay up with the swim in Portland and London folks...so it was not my FIRST time back in, in one month. It felt great as Chrissie took us through a really good workout.

Got through the warm-up and then it was 3 x 200, timed with each one descending.

First 200- 3:45 (crap, went out too fast, will I get faster on the next one?)
Second 200- 3:41 (wow?!! Can I go under 3:40 for #3??!!)
Third 300- 3:36 (yes...I did and felt as though both my lungs and heart would burst through my chest.)

Then it was 6 x 100 after a small recovery set. The goal being that 1&2, 3&4, 5&6 would have consistent times, taking off around 5 seconds after each double. (80%, 85% and 90%)

1 & 2- 1:55 I felt great and my pacing felt even...and I was happy with the consistent time!!

3rd- 1:52
4th- 1:50 at least I got there, right?

5th- 1:45 and then coach Pain through down the gauntlet, "can you go under 1:45 she asks??"
6th- 1:42 .....the answer is yes Coach.

After 2900 in the pool, it felt great to be back in. I have decided to do the aqua bike at the upcoming Longhorn which would consist of a 1.2 mile swim and a 56 mile bike. No 13.1 mile run at the end...I am not ready for the Decker terrain and well, I want to be done early and drinking my beers as I watch the agony of my friends out on the run course! October 5th....here I come!!

I got in an awesome 6 mile run yesterday, I am still bike commuting as I am trying to put off buying a new car and a car payment as long as possible, and tonight I will head back to the pool with T3.

Life is good.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My life according to Tom

My good friend Tom sent me this when he heard of my upcoming trip to London...

"Seriously. Sneak me in your bag. I'll affect a glorious English accent and no one will be the wiser. Are you going to be there for three weeks?? No wait, let me guess...you'll be in London for four days, then whisked away to the south of France for tea with the Prime Minister. Then, you're off to Shanghai to present the medals at the end of the men's marathon event. From China you'll hop down to New Zealand, where you'll talk with Peter Jackson about an upcoming movie based on Lance Armstrong, in which -- if things fall into place -- you'll play the new love interest. While in New Zealand, you'll do a bike across the country event, raising awareness for both the LAF and the new movie, and at the end of that, you'll head to Tibet for a one-on-one with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, where you'll advise him on upcoming human rights work to be done with China. From there, a quick stopover in Sao Paolo for some much-deserved surfing, after which you'll return home."

LOVE IT!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The slowest paid runner in the world....

I have a couple of exciting weeks coming up! I have been saying that it has been hard getting back into running as the Ironman burnt me out BUT as you will see, in the next few weeks I will be forced to lace up those Asics.

Yes, that right...I am headed to Portland tomorrow for the 197 mile Hood to Coast relay. What is funny about this is I was supposed to and take a team of 12 to do this event with Team LIVESTRONG. Notice I said take...not run. Well, one week ago I had a runner come down with pneumonia and she cannot make it, so who is the alternate? Yup...me. I am now the 12th member of this team and will be running 3 legs of this race....totaling 18 miles. I guess that is one way to get thrown back into running. At least the scenery will be pretty...and the finish is on none other than the Goonies beach....what could be more perfect?


I arrive back next Monday, have a few days to do laundry, unpack and then re-pack. On Thursday, August 28th...I board a plane for....


That's right. I am headed to London to represent the LAF at the Human Race. I will spend 4 days with the Nike folks and in getting the LIVESTRONG word out internationally. It is really exciting to be a part of this event on a global level! I will run the 10k on August 31st in London...spend a few extra days sightseeing, and then return back to Austin!!

So two weeks, exciting places and I will be running 'for the LAF'.

And there you have it....I am the slowest paid runner in the world.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Good Will Hunting....

What a strange/tough/full-of-life-lessons week I have had.

Monday started off pretty normal, getting things ready for an event in Oregon next week. Went home that night and went to bed as normal.

Get up on Tuesday and head to an LAF Team Meeting at Dart Bowl up on 2222. (Yes, we mix business with a bit of fun at times!) On the way to this meeting, I was not all quite there as my head was racing in many different directions, for many different reasons. And then I saw the red lights in front of me, that were the red lights of a Ford Explorer and BAM! I hit the car full on and 24 hours later found out my car was totaled. Done. My 1999 paid-off Toyota Camry was not going to come back alive...Kirk Camry was quite good to me since 2001 and I will miss this car dearly. Knowing that I cannot afford a car payment right now, I was pushed 100% into bike commuting. So Wednesday I get up and ride the 3 miles to work, take a shower and get on with my week.

Now, those of you that know me....the transition wasn't quite that easy. I cried pretty heavily on the phone to my Dad that I was so proud of how I had paid off that car and since I only have liability on that car, I have no money coming to me to help towards the down payment of something else.

As the week went on, friends were helping me get here and there, I was finding the safer paths via bike and a co-worker going out of town for the weekend, offered me her wheels until Sunday night. (which was certainly a HUGE help for me so I could run errands to really get myself into the work of bike commuting.)

As Saturday afternoon came my way, I had lunch with a friend that couldn't imagine me riding my bike everywhere. I said to her, "well, after the Ironman I said I really wanted to get stronger on the bike! Now, I don't have a choice!!"

This seemingly 'negative' thing has turned to be a positive thing in my life right now for many reasons.....

*I am learning to ask for help (which isn't my thing)
*I am learning all the safe commuter routes...which is fun!
*I am learning to live life a bit simpler, which is another thing that was on my list.
*I am learning that things could ALWAYS be much worse...and here is why

I found out yesterday that an old friend/acquaintance of mine from when I sang at Disney lost his 4 year battle with brain cancer. Yes, when he was diagnosed 4 years ago, it was stage 4 and was told they would try surgery and then chemo, but of course, no guarantees. Dave fought hard and always with a smile on his face...at the time of diagnosis his daughter was only 6 months old....fast forward 4 years and the cancer came back, and it came back harder. He was given 6-12 weeks and so he, his wife and daughter spent his last days together. I talked to an old friend today that was very close with Dave and he said how precious and amazing that he was given those four years with family. My friend continued on telling me that when the cancer came back and contracts were up for renewal at Disney....Disney gave him his contract even though they knew Dave would not return back to work. They wanted him and his family to have the paycheck so they could have the time together and not worry about finances. Disney also gave his entire cast of singers off this coming Tuesday for his Memorial service....

Then I went to church this morning and the pastor talked about thanking God for the good stuff....do I really do this? ouch. Do I focus on the discontent and wanting more? I think so. So this week (and hopefully beyond) I want to focus on all the things I take for granted yet are SO SO precious to me.

So with that my new week and my life of bike commuting begins. (if anyone is going to T3 swims and can help me out, I will help pay for gas!!!) Of course, eventually I will need to purchase another vehicle but I know in time, that will come. I have to trust that I will be provided for.....which is also hard for me.

What I do know..
I came out of the accident ok, not hurt.
I have a place to sleep and eat at.
I have a few bikes to choose from for commuting.
I have a great family that supported me through the phone calls.
I have good friends that offer rides and help.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Some pictures....

It has been a LONG waiting game, but here are a few pictures from the world of RAGBRAI...and some new cycle buddies!!! A few of them will be here for LIVESTRONG Challenge in October and I can't wait to ride with them again!!

these are the guys I rode in with the last day, a lady gave us an American Flag to ride into the finish with


This is the Kim Barnett. She is the reason I survived RAGBRAI.


I just love the people in this picture! They made the miles go by rather fast. From the left, Matt, the Kim Barnett, Brett (super funny guy, knows everything about the Tour from the last 75 years and likes to make fun of people just as much as me) and then me.

Friday, August 8, 2008

TGIF.....John Edwards

I got a phone call on the way home from work from my good buddy Brett...met him at the Bike Ride in Iowa...called to let me know John Edwards had finally admitted to the affairs with the movie producer. See below.

In the interview, Edwards says he lied repeatedly about the affair with a 44-year-old woman while his wife struggled with cancer. He denied he is the father of the woman’s child. (however he has NOT taken a paternity test yet)

The woman, Rielle Hunter, had run a firm that directed four Web videos for Edwards’s political action committee in 2006. Hunter had a daughter in February. She didn’t put a father’s name on the birth certificate filed in California, according to the Associated Press. Andrew Young, an aide to Edwards, has claimed to be the father. (hmmmm.....that one seems strange)

Let the mudslinging begin folks! It's election year!!! WOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!

Oh, and John, be prepared for ANY woman in America to flip you off, curse at you, throw sharp objects at you because the man who was "standing by his woman" while undergoing treatment, well....you made your bed (apparently with 44 year old Rielle) now lie in it.

And if McCainn wins? You will probably blamed for that too as this is going to shake up the Democratic party.

Nice. Really nice. McSame it is!!!

say-what-you-mean, mean-what-you-say


SAY WHAT YOU MEAN?.... Sounds easy, huh? Saying what you mean is more than choosing your words and stating them. Words, after all, have at least three meanings: what you mean, what the listener thinks you mean, and the dictionary definition(s). One way to be clearer about saying what you mean is to think about your message from your listener’s perspective. I remember at a work training being asked to 1)listen to what the other has to say. 2)repeat back exactly so they can tell you hear 2)state your case. I have seen this work in ANY relationship....friend, significant other, co-workers, famiily.

SO...how do you MEAN WHAT YOU SAY? I am sorry but this 'common sense' principal...ain't so common folks. In order to mean what you say, you have to be very firm and certain about what message you are trying to communicate. If your message sounds like your waffling about on a topic, and you’re not, you are unfairly misleading your listener. This is no time for passive aggressive communication, hinting about hoping someone will “get” what you really mean. (sadly, I have been guilty of this in the last few weeks and in journaling yesterday realized I gotta get better about this)

I have been tested on this specifically with a friendship.....I am afraid to say what I mean with this person because honestly, the friendship has changed and I think I can see where it is headed. When you pour yourself into something (the both of you) and you end up not really getting what expected in the end....well...to be point blank. IT SUCKS.

I learned a little lesson this past weekend about the differences in communication patterns between certain types of people/friends. My absolute best bet was to bite the bullet, let go of all those touchy-feely conversational props, and just be blunt....yet in the end, I could not. I actually watched myself having a conversation that is NOT the way I communicate AT ALL. I passive-voiced myself when in all truth, I was deeply hurt.

I’m not advocating being heartless about it. Which is tough because I communicate in the black and white for the most part. I am an all or nothing person except when I can sense the super-sensitivity and don't know how to communicate the pain in such a way that would put someone on the defensive.

It's tough. I am learning.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Really? That is what you have to ask me?

I have been working at The Lance Armstrong Foundation for almost 2 months now and I can't even begin to express how much I LOVE my job! New challenges each week, a lot of personal growth, tons of inspiration and a great team to work with and for! It's a dream to be 33 and know that the job I have...could be a pretty long term commitment for me!

What is funny to me are the questions that said friends and acquaintances choose to ask me....like, Do you think he was a doper during the Tour? Is he really dating Kate Hudson? How long do you think that will last and my personal favorite...Is he really an asshole? ("he" being Lance of course)

Let's clear some things up...I am NOT his personal assitant nor the leak to US Weekly Magazine, I work with Grassroots Fundraising...I help those that want to raise money for the Foundation that will fulfill the manifesto: Unity is Strength. Attitude is Everything and Knowledge is Power. The Foundation strives to improve the quality of life for cancer survivors, increase research funding and advance cancer prevention methods. Bottom Line...that is what I help see through.

Let's look at the facts...Lance right now could be in France enjoying the Tour as the former 7 time winner BUT this weekend he will be in San Jose for the LIVESTRONG Challenge riding 100 miles with supporters.

No wonder Armstrong gets frustrated that there is so much focus on other things - namely, doping accusations and girlfriends. Whatever he is - or whatever you think he is - there remains this truth: Probably no other athlete has used his fame to do more for society. Armstrong has raised $250 million through his foundation. He has brought hope to millions who suffer from cancer and its effects. He has helped shape national health policy. These are enormous accomplishments.

When it comes to the Foundation and Lance all I have seen is 150% commitment to raising awareness and cutting deaths from cancer. He loves the work that the Foundation does and he won't quit until leadership starts providing funding to see research through.

Armstrong is climbing a different mountain now...and it is amazing to be a part of that fight every day.

The Hollywood gossip has gotten out of hand...rather than wonder what he is doing in his personal life (which is personal) how about you go and purchase some LIVESTRONG gear where 100% goes back to the Foundation or sign up for a LIVESTRONG challenge near you? That might be better use of time....I can help you with that, but I can't keep up with the accusations and gossip.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Life is precious

I guess sometimes it is true...death comes in 3's.

First was Allan Goldberg, a former employee of the Lance Armstrong foundation that lost his battle with cancer on June 22. He was 40, a triathlete and two-time cancer survivor who was executive director of a nonprofit organization that introduced young cancer survivors to outdoor adventure sports. Allan defined the word survivor. He battled this disease for more than 20 years. He spent his life giving back and helping others. He lived strong each and every day.

Second was Michael Argall- an athlete and coach in the Austin community that was killed when hit by a car whle riding his bike this past weekend. His memorium is here. I knew him briefly with the marathon training group I started with this past fall and then met him again at the church I attend. He was 45, an incredible man and leaves 3 children that are 21, 18, and 14. So very sad...but no one can say he did not live his life to the FULLEST.

And third was a letter that I opened up last night. I had adopted a little girl, Rosemary, from Uganda through an organization called World Vision. This organization helps villages in Africa by teaching them how to build community, AIDS awareness and providing education. Rosemary was 7 and she passed due to health issues. When I got the letter...it was tough...I had never met her, but looked forward the letters I would get from her.

Don't go to bed angry because no one is guaranteed tomorrow. No one.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

KT...you are so right.


Was chatting with an old friend today and telling her about my week (she called to send well wishes on the Ironman, she could tell I was down and out...got out what I needed to and then she sent me this.

"Why waste your energy on those who treat you with disregard when there are so many others who want to give you the world?"

So true. I am focusing on the wrong things. People make mistakes...me being one of them and I can't let myself feel like the bad person anymore. I am pretty easy to talk to when it comes to things like this and I always want to grow and learn like the rest of us. But disregard sucks and it doesn't feel good. However, I should focus on those that want to give me the world...and thankfully there are so many of you out there.

Time for some goal setting cause I get motivated by that.

Thanks KT...you are a good friend!

Grace..

U2 said it right...sometimes we all just need a little grace. This week has been a tough one, but as always...I will get through.


Grace
She takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name

Grace
It's a name for a girl
It's also a thought that
Changed the world

And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness
In everything

Grace
She's got the walk
Not on a wrapper on chalk
She's got the time to talk

She travels outside
Of karma, karma
She travels outside
Of karma

When she goes to work
You can hear the strings
Grace finds beauty
In everything

Grace
She carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips
Between her fingertips

She carries a pearl
In perfect condition
What once was hers
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stains

Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

Grace finds beauty
In everything

Grace finds goodness
In everything

Friday, June 27, 2008

A thanks to my sponsors...

While every Pro triathlete has to thank all those companies that got them to the finish line and endorse the products they make, whether they believe in them or not...I have to say...thanking my sponsors is much much easier because they are people and faces that helped me believe when I could not. I have posted some pictures of those that walked me through my weekend...a few others that I should mention that come with no pictures. Randy and Naomi for watching my sweet Eloise while I was gone and for the SAG on my final 112 mile bike ride. I will NEVER forget that. To Amanda F. for always letting me gab and for the super sweet plane package...I loved the trashy magazine the most! To Beijing for the sweet CDs and tunes that came in very handy when I needed to escape. To Stephanie for the cross necklace so that I would remember to have a little faith this weekend...I look forward to ACL this September and I also look forward to your journey to your first Half Ironman. And to Sam for getting my bike ready, for the leg and foot massages on those long workout weekends, for sitting by the computer and watching me cross the Finish Line, for all the crazy support in the last two months...I am sure you are wondering why you would meet someone in the last few months of her Ironman training, but you NEVER complained and you put up with all the emotions (and trust me, I was very emotional)...I love you. I am covered. Covered by people that help me reach the goals I place out there for myself. I will continue to think about this past weekend and all the athletic and personal things it taught me. It is very cool to say that I am an IRONMAN! Who is ready to sign up with me in 2010?

this is Shelley, I know she wanted to be in Idaho but the time she took beforehand and the new luggage she got for me was awesome! Thanks for all your support lady even though my schedule didn't allow a lot of time!!


a gift from my girls...purchased at a silent auction before I even worked for the LAF. This is so precious and I can't wait to hang in my new apartment!


My girl Kat that sent me a goodie bag of things I might 'need' during the Ironman! You make me smile...thanks for sending that!


Heidi, Robin & Andrea that cheered me on every step of the way....I love them for making the trip from Florida to see me race!


Heather and her son, Zach, made the trip from Seattle...she is a dear dear friend that I got to know while singing at Disney. It meant so much that she drove to see me on my day...with kid in tow. You will never know Heather how much that meant to me!!


who needs ASI photo when you have Andrea? Seriously...she is an AMAZING photographer and had like 12 cameras with her for the day...I am so greatful to her for capturing many many moments!!


I had to include this one...yes, that is Robin & Andrea putting their beers into large plastic soda cups from the gas station. Do you see why we are friends?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Super Cool Advice from my boss

My new job is rockin', my new boss is a super cool dude that sent me an email on Friday afternoon with advice for my Ironman this coming weekend.....(I mean really? A boss that actually works out and gets what I am doing? Will I ever leave this place?)

"I thought I would forward these pearls of wisdom that I sent to two other CDA first-timers. Hope you enjoy:

Here's a little pre-Ironman advice from me to you:

Good luck next week. Have fun. Don't take it too seriously. Keep in mind it is a long training day – you are not going to win. Eat and drink more than you think you need. Smile and/or laugh every once in a while. Think about people during the race that are in much greater pain than you ever will be. Think about me barfing in the saltwater swim on my first Ironman – it was red because I drank cranberry juice that morning (I thought I was puking blood). Enjoy it when they take your wetsuit off for you – that never happens in real-life. Play games with yourself all day. Go easy when it feels hard and go hard when it feels easy. Don't think about the people who will be finishing as you get off the bike. Do something stupid when you cross the finish line. Say thank you to the volunteers. Have a beer after you are done, even if you don't want one. Stay at the finish line until the race is over – you will want to leave, but it will be worth it to see the last finishers. Be prepared to be mauled in the swim – if you expect to get kicked and lose your goggles it won't be a shock when it happens. Don't get an M-Dot tattoo, no matter what.

That should cover it. I wish I was going to be there competing and I will look forward to hearing about it when you finish."

I printed this out and I am going to read this over and over again....lot's of good advice. This week is about staying strong mentally and to not stop believing that I AM READY to take on 140.6 miles!!!

YIPPPEEEEEEE!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

I love the 80s!!!

I was sitting at Miss Fuller's house last night doing some laundry (thank you!!) and talking about lot's of random stuff when I got an email on my phone...as much as I am NOT a fan of forwards, this caused much laughter between the two of us, being devoted children of the 80s....so enjoy and have fun going down memory lane!!

You Know You Grew Up In the 80's IF:


1. You've ever ended a sentence with the word SIKE.
2. You can sing the rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and can do the Carlton
3. You know that 'WOAH' comes from Joey on Blossom
4. If you ever watched 'Fraggle Rock'

5. It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.
6. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.
7. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school.
8. You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt in a knot on the side.
9. You played the game 'MASH'(Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House)

10. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.
11. You know the profound meaning of ' WAX ON , WAX OFF'
12. You wanted to be a Goonie.
13. You ever wore fluorescent clothing. (Some of us...head-to-toe)
14. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted.
15. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.
16. You took lunch boxes to school...and traded Garbage Pail Kids in the schoolyard.
17. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets. (I recently sang at a wedding where this was the give a way....GENIUS!!!)
18. You still get the urge to say 'NOT' after every sentence.
19. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged handmade friendship bracelets
21. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes.
22. After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying 'I know you are, but what am I?'
23. You remember 'I've fallen and I can't get up'
24. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.
25. You have ever played with a Skip-It.
26. You remember boom boxes and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that.
27. You remember watching both Gremlins movies.
28. You thought Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot.
29. You remember Alf, the lil furry brown alien from Melmac.
30. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool...and don't even flinch when people refer to them as 'NKOTB'
31. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on 'Saved By The Bell,' The ORIGINAL class.
32. You know all the words to Bon Jovi - SHOT THROUGH THE HEART.










33. You just sang those words to yourself.
34. You still sing 'We are the World'
35. You tight rolled your jeans.
36. You owned a bannana clip
37. You remember 'Where's the Beef?'
38. You used to (and probably still do) say 'What you talkin' 'bout Willis?'

39. You're still singing shot through the heart in your head, aren't you!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Girls & Carlile



Made my way with Shelley to Stubbs (great venue) last night for Brandi and the Indigo Girls. Got to see fellow Triathlete and Ironman, Carrie as well..super duper treat!

Texas is HOT right now...it was 95 freaking degrees at 7:00 when I got picked up....goodness, is this what I have to look forward to in the coming months? I digress...

Brandi started a few minutes after I got there...I am going to be honest, I was just a bit disappointed. I think it was two things...ONE, she pretty much did the same set and shtick that I saw back in September. Same old sing-a-long on Turpentine...and then the SAME exact covers at the end, it was almost predicatable..Folsom Prison Blues and Hallelujah. And TWO, acoustically in an outdoor venue things got lost and I didn't feel the same connection with her music that I had in the tiny UT ballroom almost one year ago. She is still a brilliant musician and her voice has more color to it than any female artist out there right now (I think) BUT she didn't deliver the same way.

Then came the Indigo Girls....you know, they get older and their voices stay the same.. a clean, amazing sound. There are harmonies are delicious, and when Brandi came out and provided some three part in a few songs...I was certainly in heaven. It was one of those nights where you can sit under the starry Texas sky and sing a long (I know Shelley, you didn't pay to hear the crowd sing but that is what the Girls pull out of you...every single on their songs you want to sing as if you were on a cross country road trip....it won't change)

They did the song, Get Out the Map..(which I am not going to lie, is one of my favorites, I feel sometimes as though the chorus was written for me)

Get out the map, get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down
We'll leave the figurin' to those who pass on the way out of town
Don't drink the water there seems to be something ailing everyone
I'm gonna clear my head (I'm gonna clear my head)
I'm gonna drink that sun (I'm gonna drink that sun)
I'm gonna love you good and strong while our love is good and young
I'm gonna clear my head
I'm gonna drink that sun
I'm gonna love you good and strong while our love is good and young

Then the song...Shame On You. Love this as well and yeah, you had to sing along.

The night ended with Brandi and the Girls doing Kid Fears and yes...Closer to Fine. I could hear this song over and over and over...it just moves you and makes you want to dance like it were 1989 (so that you feel totally old, yes...this is when the song hit the charts. I was a Freshman in High School)

It was a perfect night because the Indigo Girls know how to bring it every single time and I had wanted to see Brandi with the Indigo Girls for some time now...well worth my $25!!

The only thing that would have made it more perfect is if Slo-Diggity was there to dance and be stupid with me. We always have September and ACL right??

**In case you didn't know, Brandi and The Girls will have new albums out next February.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Viva Catie!!





Pretty cool day at work...got to ride in a group of teenagers from Bastrop, the final 40 miles of there trip from TN to TX...on bikes. And yes, they are in high school. What a humbling experience and amazing day...read on.

The story starts back in 2005. A young girl named Catie Summers had been diagnosed with bone cancer in Clarksville, TN. Despite devastating surgeries and chemotherapy, Catie remained an inspiration – a great friend and a straight-A student who simply would not leave her friends and school. She so inspired those around her that they rode over 30,000 miles and raised over $25,000 in her name so she could come to Austin and be a VIP guest at the “Ride for the Roses” weekend.

However, Catie’s disease returned, and stronger than ever. Despite her medical team’s best attempts, recurrent bone cancer is very difficult to treat and Catie passed away in December of 2007 at the age of 16…

That could have been the sad ending to a sad story, but I am happy to tell you that is not the case. Remember: Catie was and is an inspiration! And so, with the help of Danny Magrans – a teacher at Clarksville High School and sponsor of the “Helping Other People Everyday” Club (HOPE) – they came up with a super rad plan.

Danny got a group of his HOPE Club members and formed the “Viva Catie” campaign. Their twofold goal is very noble: support the Lance Armstrong Foundation and a new scholarship program in their local community in Catie’s name that will benefit another cancer survivor ("paying it forward", if you will).

The Viva Catie campaign decided they needed to come back to Austin, back to where Catie had found such joy. But they weren’t flying or driving, they were going to ride their bikes – 1200 miles – right to the doors of the LAF! Now it’s one thing when a long-time cyclist gets it into his head to do a long ride. Danny’s group was going to do it primarily with high school students, many of whom had never ridden any distance whatsoever, let alone 80+ miles a day.

But train and ride they did, and they set out on May 28 to ride relay-style from TN to TX. While one group of riders was on the road, the other two groups were resting and waiting to take their turn, totaling around 225 miles a day during the daylight window. Along the way they encountered plenty of challenges ranging from differing terrain, mechanical problems, winds from every direction, and oh-by-they-way it’s already around 100F here in sunny Texas.

I got to ride with some new friends and co-workers, Kim Barnett, Justin Joyner, and Chris Brewer and my good friend Randy Armstrong (different Armstrong!) on point in the lead car we were honored to escort them in on their final 40 mile leg. The ride was more celebration than high-speed pursuit, but they had earned this lesser pace from all their hard work along the way. As we cruised into the driveway of the LAF offices, the entire staff came out to cheer them in, a great welcome home for a deserving team.

We then all went inside (to get out of the heat) where we were further honored to accept a donation for over $10,000 from these fine folks, and then we surprised the kids with a conference call from none other than our Chairman of the Board, Lance Armstrong. Lance was on the road but wanted to make sure that he not only knew about their project, but that he appreciated their effort and promised the funds raised would be spent wisely.

1200 miles is a long way to ride but the Viva Catie campaign did it with style, grace, and perseverance – THANK YOU!

It was a humbling day, to hear the stories of how Catie affected each of their lives and to see her spirit live on...

Viva Catie!! We look forward to this teams next venture!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

June 11. Taper. Indigo Girls. Brandi Carlile

The title above is no joke. When Mama T told me Brandi Carlile was coming back to town with the Indigo Girls @ Stubbs and for only $25....well, I decided to treat myself during the taper for Ironman. All the 6 months of hard work & I deserve something like this...so on a Wednesday evening I am going to enjoy some really amazing music and relax. Yup. That is what I am gonna do.



Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It's a good thing....



It's Friday, the end of my first week of much change. I am tired, but it's a good tired. The above picture are gifts for me on the first day of work at LAF. It's a good thing I like yellow!!! t-shirt, dri-fit shirt, flowers, manifesto poster, books, Nike shoes, Nike watch......GOODNESS!!! It is a great feeling when your work is excited the VERY FIRST day you get there! It is a good feeling to know that you are appreciated from the very start and that they believe you will do really good things with the program you have. It is a good thing when EVERY single person in the organization believes in what the foundation does and strives for excellence on every level. It is a good thing when you wake up in the morning you can't wait to get to your desk and make a difference in other's lives. It's a good thing.

I am excited for my weekend...I have a 6+ hour bike ride tomorrow and a 60 minute run. On Sunday I have a 2.5 hour run + I am going down to Auditorium shores to watch my Cap Tex kids rock the course!! It will be really good to see them all again! Monday is a holiday but only from work...I will do a 4 hour ride with Sammy on that day and get a good swim in. Next week is a hard work as far as the workouts go....4 weeks until I am an IRONMAN...YIKES!!

Lot's going on. Lot's to celebrate. Life is good.

OH!! And me and the boy are doing really great. I am very lucky to have someone like him in my life. Very lucky.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Words to live by....



"Well you see, Norm, it's like this . . . . a herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.

In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells.

Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster, and a more efficient machine. . . .
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. . . . . And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers."