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!!!


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 much as I am NOT a fan of forwards, this caused much laughter between the two of us, being devoted children of the 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 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 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 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 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 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 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!!