My trip to Austin was wonderful, as always, though I managed to spend about $1,000 more than I made last month in between trips for weddings and trips for concerts and bike parts (necessity!), so now I’m supposed to be on uber-money-lockdown and not buy dinner out or take any more trips anytime soon. Instead, Erik and Ellen convinced me that I need this book so that I can be like them, sans chickens.

After Erik taunted me with his homemade focaccia, which was wonderfully accompanied by good company (Ellen, Blaine, Michelle and Erik), as well as perfectly seared lamb chops with a pistachio mint pesto, I decided to buy the book at Bookpeople while I was in Austin. This, in turn and spurred by a desire and fury to make bread NOW NOW NOW, led to further purchases on like pizza stones ($36), 6-quart containers ($17), a bread dough whisk ($10) and a 2 lb bag of yeast ($11). I’m now $100 deep in a quest to make bread in a month where I intended to spend less money, not more. But maybe I’ll spend less money on bread, which will even out? Even more ridiculous is that we’re going into summer and I usually don’t like to turn my oven on. I think I’ll turn it on for bread in five minutes a day though. Or perhaps there’s a chapter on grilling it…

We had an amazing crawfish boil on Sunday while I was there and all my favorite people came. With three professional photographers there I didn’t feel the need to take photos of my own. The photos on this post are all property of Merrick Ales, who takes amazing photos. You can check out his gallery and work at his website. You can see all the event photos through these links: Merrick’s, Greg’s, and Erik’s.

The wedding I was home for was beautiful and at some point I’m sure I’ll have a link for those photos. I wish boyfriend could have joined me as it was VERY Texas: girls in cowboy boots, country music, and BBQ for dinner. Loved it!

I’m amazed at how quickly I turn back into a runner when I’m in Austin. There is nothing like the warm weather, sunshine and throngs of fit people on the Austin Hike and Bike Trail to motivate you. I spent almost every day running in Austin, including participating in the Schlotsky’s Bun Run 5K. The Bun Run was always one of my favorite Austin events because they encourage you to bring your four legged pal with you and even have a timed canine division. Sierra came in 2nd among the dogs once!

Now, while I was standing in the start corral, despite the fact that the last time I ran was a 5k for Keenan Harrison a few weeks ago, I came up with a ridiculous arbitrary goal to run the race in less than 24 minutes. Why? Because I’m competitive with myself for absolutely no reason. I haven’t been running. At all. Seriously. What was I thinking? (I’ll tell you what I was thinking – I was boastfully thinking that I live at altitude and have been swimming so much that I could knock out 3.1 miles in 24 minutes at sea level).

Turns out I can. I came across the finish line at 24:03 and spent 24 agonizing hours refreshing the results page to determine if I should be angry at myself for not making my goal or not. Final chip time was 23:54 which was fast enough to place me at 8th in my age group. I’m happy with that.

In other sports-related-non-Austin-trip news, last year my friend Al convinced our friend Ellen and myself that we needed to create an ultra-awesome totally unstoppable Ironman triathlon relay with Al as the cyclist, Ellen as the runner, and myself as the swimmer. If you don’t know what an Ironman is it consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a marathon (26.2 miles). She convinced us to sign up despite the fact that she has had 3 knee surgeries in a year and a half and my insistence that I didn’t think it was wise to train for an event of this nature so close to her last surgery. I was SO insistent that this was the case that I told her from the beginning that I had an understudy in waiting for her. I, in effect, had zero confidence that this would happen.

Turns out, I was right. Unfortunately, the fact that I have an understudy ready in the wings is moot as Ellen is apparently not ready either. Despite my lack of confidence that we would be able to participate in the event, I for some reason took training very seriously. So seriously that when I injured my rotator cuff, I spent three months swimming nothing but backstroke which was absolutely AWFUL. Thus, may this be a testament to how seriously I take training when I have a goal: I just spent 5 months swimming more yardage per week (20,000 yards a week!) than I have since I was a lifeguard and swim coach back in Austin. I’m pretty deflated that I spent all this time in the pool when I could have been doing other things, but that’s okay, because now my shoulders are once again so big that none of my shirts fit. This, in turn, causes a phenomenon I like to call “small head complex” in which I look at myself in a mirror and think that my head is too small for my body. I’m serious. Stop laughing, it’s not funny.

I’m probably going to keep swimming, but not quite as much. Maybe two 5,000 yard workouts a week and one 4,000 yard workout. I kind of liked doing the 5,000 yard workouts – they leave you ravenously hungry and with a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Regardless, the change of plans will free me up to train for a new goal because I like to have goals. I had, in my mind, shelved training for a marathon again until next year but now I’m free to do so this summer. I need to run a marathon because the last time I attempted one it was an epic FAIL and I’m not so happy about that.

This is now an ridiculously long post so I’m going to end it now. Hopefully I’ll have lots of bread, CSA box and bike related posts coming soon, just in time for summer which is apparently not coming to Tahoe today – we woke up to snow.