Afraid? Do it anyway!

My childhood dream was to be on Saturday Night Live. I heard you needed 3 characters to try out so I constantly invented them. I loved going to stand up comedy clubs, I love funny movies and I love to make my friends laugh.

When a good friend of mine and her boyfriend decided to bring comedy to Key West, I thought “ok, here’s my chance”. Well, it took me 2 months to get up the courage. I’m very comfortable on stage. I have emceed various events for work and fundraisers. I was just worried about being funny “on demand”. Last week I prepared 3-5 minutes of material. Well, “prepared” is a bit of a stretch. I prepared an opening and thought of things I thought would work. I made an index card of words that would prompt me to remember different bits and off I went! I loved it! I plan on doing it again and really hope I always play to an audience made up of like 80% people I know 🙂

Here’s the video. Moral of the story? it’s in the title above. Afraid? do it anyway!!! (kind of my triathlon mantra)

stand up comedy


enjoy! or, not. CAUTION!! LOTS OF CURSES! Apparently I swear like a sailor when nervous.

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Time to Roar

These times that we’re living in are causing me some emotional distress. The treatment of women is getting worse rather than getting better. If a woman is sexually assaulted, she is victim shamed. If a woman is fat, she is fat shamed. If you’re “pretty”, you’re stupid. Women are being told to “smile”. Powerful women are being told that they dress too nicely or not feminine enough. And the wage gap! Oh the infuriating wage gap. We also have the most powerful male political figure completely degrading women while those that support him (men and women) justify it as acceptable because it’s just “talk”. As if what you say to people and how you treat them doesn’t matter deeply.


If you’ve read this blog before, you know I’ve had to deal with a lot of fat shaming. And there are some who have let me know that I’ve brought it on myself because I “let” my body continue to be overweight (as if it’s not something I struggle with, to some degree 24/7/365). I’m gonna go ahead and assume those folks no longer read my words and that’s fine. Part of what makes America (already) great is the fact that people can choose to read or not read what they want. Unless you’re in 8th grade and dammit, you have to read Johnny Tremaine no matter how badly it bores you to tears.


And the lovely fat shaming doesn’t just happen to me who is obviously obese. A good friend of mine, who is one of the most physically fit people I know (I can feel her shaking her head as she reads this. STOP IT) got fat shamed by her DOCTOR. That’s right. The person who is supposed to be looking out for her physical and emotional wellbeing. She has run like 6 marathons for f’s sake and works out like a fiend. Does she fit the stereotype of a whippet like runner? Nope. But guess what? She can out run most people including that damn doctor. And she’s beautiful inside and out.


I belong to a couple of private triathlon Facebook groups. One is for Athena athletes past and present. There are stories like the one above on there EVERY SINGLE DAY. The leader of the group is an amazing athlete. She lost 100 lbs and just the other day someone in her life gave her a hard time about what she USED TO LOOK LIKE. Totally ignoring how far she’s come and the badass athlete she is (and was!). The other Private groups have women and men alike shaming the Athena and Clydesdale athletes for competing in what others think is an easier category at races. Ummmmm…excuse me, we do THE EXACT SAME RACE. And on and on and on….


I was raised by an incredibly strong and capable Mom. And my male role model was (is) my Dad who always believes in my 100%. I was always brought up to believe that I could do anything I wanted. There were no specific gender rules to follow. I was a tomboy through and through. I grew up in a neighborhood where for the most part, girls and boys played on equal footing. I was the only girl on my Little League team, I played basketball, I swam, I had friends that were boys and friends that were girls. Sure, I had Barbies and liked to wear pink and had crushes on boys and experimented with makeup and hair. But I was never treated like I was “less than” because I was a girl. I’m so grateful for all of that.

I was also physically, emotionally and sexually abused as a child by a close family member from the ages of 6-13 (estimated ages. I can’t really remember the start or end and I’m told that’s common for the level of abuse). I seriously contemplated suicide on more than one occasion. I essentially split into two different people. One was a confident person who had zero problems making and keeping friends. I excelled in school and sports. I joined any club that would have me after school. Anything to avoid going home. I had (have) a great relationship with my parents and never really majorly rebelled (though they’ll tell you that me registering as a Democrat broke their hearts) In a sense, the abuse fostered some of my best traits. The other person was a terrified child that was afraid to be alone in the house and afraid to go to sleep. This manifests itself even today. I can’t sleep if I can’t be aware of everything going on in my apartment. (I could never live in a house by myself) All doors open. And at least some ambient light to see what’s what. Anyone that shares a hotel room with me knows that I can’t sleep closest to the door (though they would also share that my snoring will keep any attacker far, far away).


I also gained a crap ton of weight when I was younger as a result. I wanted the insulation to protect me. I also got myself a super cool emotional eating habit. Sweet! Now, this abuse took place like 35 years ago (oy, I’m old). I’m not using it as an excuse by any means to justify my obesity. That is merely a result of the coping mechanism to stress and emotion that I’ve honed so well over the years. These patterns take a long time to break. I’m happy to say that I’ve gotten way better at it and improving all the time. I tell you this, dear reader, not to try to garner sympathy, more just so you know where I’m coming from!


It is so easy for us to believe the worst about ourselves. It makes zero difference that my friend’s doctor is a flipping idiot, it makes no difference that my abuser had severe mental health issues (doi), it makes no difference what other people say, right? Well, it does. The credibility of the person that make a ridiculous statement like “how are you so fat?” or “you’re not going to catch a man if you like that” or “you’re lucky you have a pretty face” and on and on and on…. Doesn’t matter at all. When you hear your worst fears about yourself or situation parroted back to you by someone, it is truly devastating. It’s very hard to get off the mat after it happens. But we do. We soldier on and hopefully the words don’t keep chipping away at us.


It’s hard not to let our own voices stop or stall us on our journeys. Running. Oh god, the running. Why can’t I do it? Well, I can do it. I do, do it (heh, do do). I just don’t run as fast or as far as I think I should be able to at this point. Why is that? Well, maybe I’m just slow to improve? Or maybe (more likely) is I let the voices in my head tell me that I can’t do it. It’s all the people that have told me I can’t. And the loudest voice is my own. I know so many people that do this too. I’ve let this voice win all year this year and it aggravates the piss out of me! Even when I’m doing well in a race, I back off. Like I don’t want people watching to think that I think I deserve to finish the race. What in the actual F is that?! I mean, I’ve encountered some vocal haters on the course and in training but really, I have so many people (friends and strangers) rooting for me. Why is it so easy to believe the bad voices in your head? I have another friend who is just an amazing mom to two girls. She’s also a great triathlete. She spends a lot of time training and racing and CONSTANTLY beats herself up for spending time away from her girls. Instead of focusing on what a positive role model to them she is! Makes me crazy. Another friend is crazy Crossfit strong and still picks apart her body at times.


And I could go on and on and on…..What’s the point of all this? I don’t know. Maybe just to let any person reading this that gets plagued with self doubt know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!! And also maybe to let people that say shitty things to women about their appearance or perceived athletic ability to STOP IT!!! Words do, in fact, hurt. A lot. You ain’t saying anything that a woman hasn’t already told herself. Don’t reinforce it.


Now let’s get off the couch and out there everyone and KICK SOME ASS!


<climbs off soapbox>


I am Super Runner! (just a slow one 🙂



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Local Races Rule!

We have a little race here in Key West that happens twice a year. It’s the FKCC Sprint Tri and it takes place every September and March. It’s (allegedly) a 600 yard swim (I got 440 on my watch this year), a 10 mile bike (8.6) and a 5k (close!). You get the point. But I LOVE this race. For many of us here on the Rock, this race was our introduction to Triathlon.

Though it was my first full Sprint 4 years ago, I had done it as a relay twice prior. And oh my god. Was I terrified. I still get nervous, but nothing like the first couple of times. I mean, race day is a bit like having the flu isn’t it? The night before the race is in bed early, tossing and turning, fitfully sleeping. Then up in the dark, fumbling your way to the bathroom feeling nauseated and sweating. You try to take in some food but really, solid food just makes you more nauseated. And you basically spend some hours living off of just electrolytes. You hope you’ll make it to the end but you’re afraid it won’t ever end. But, you finish! Sweaty, salty and happy to have survived! If you’re me, you probably had one last spectacular vom at some point during the run.

With a couple dozen Sprints under my belt, my pre race/race feeling is less horrific bout of flu and more like slight motion sickness (excited to be on the water! but a little nauseated). And though my nutrition is pretty on point, I occasionally have some GI issues (usually right in front of a friend. sorry Josh).

We just had the FKCC Sprint last weekend. It was super fun. I love racing with all my friends. It’s usually a pretty small field and I like it like that. It makes it way less intimidating for newbies. For the most part, everyone has a “let’s just go have fun attitude”. Sure, there’s some competition. But it’s mostly friendly and for pride. For awhile though, it wasn’t very fun. There are quite a few very talented triathletes on our island that would talk down about the race for a couple of years. They would , loudly, make sure everyone knew that it was “just” a training day for them. They’d want everyone to be aware that after the race, they were still going to go out and get their 50 mile bike in. They would definitely mock the “everyone gets a trophy” (even tho some don’t) aspect of this race. It was super disheartening for those of us who felt like this was an Ironman. We trained and pushed and this was (is) the extent of the distance we could do. It turned off newbie to the race, it caused a whole lot of discontent among the community. I have to say though, that in the past few months, that attitude has shifted. And I’m proud of our amazing Triathletes for that. It’s super important for all triathletes, no matter the skill level to go out and support the local race. Whether you race it with grace or you volunteer your time. These local races build our sport!!!

I no longer stand on the dock crying at the FKCC Sprint like I did that first time. But you better believe that I remember that feeling! Remember that the next time you do a “little local race”. Somebody next to you is probably a first timer and is fighting back the tears and nerves. All it takes is some encouragement and a smile and you can be the difference in the race for them! I can’t wait for the next FKCC Sprint!

(and I get down off my soapbox…)

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a Tri-ing memory

ahhh…Facebook memories. You are a fickle, bipolar Son of a Nutcracker. Sometimes it’s all “Look! look what fun you had!” or “Look! Look at that trip you went on”. And other times it’s “Look! you are boring as F! Nobody, and I mean, NOBODY gives the tiniest rat’s ass about that show, game, ocean smell, pasta, workout, fricken tree that you felt the need to share with the people that haven’t unfollowed you yet”.

And then today there was this:


so proud, so hopeful!

This was 4 years ago today. My first Triathlon. I had done a couple of relays but this was the first time I did all 3 events. For the most part, the race was a pretty horrible experience. (You can get bored all over again read all about it here

But I have never felt more accomplished about anything than when I finished that race. And I wanted to feel that again and again. That’s why I keep going back for more.

I had super high expectations back then after finishing that race. I figured within a year I would: write an award winning blog about how I lost weight and became the fittest me ever, get a book deal, go on Ellen, get sponsors, design a workout line for plus sized gals, complete an Ironman and run the Boston Marathon. yeah……like none of that happened in a year or even 4 years later.

What has happened? Lots of lows, lots of highs and lots and lots of sweat. I am way fitter! Though the weight part has definitely been a struggle (how can something so high make me feel so low? ba dum, dum). The training has been predictably up and down. It’ll be weeks and weeks of motivation and breakthroughs and then a few days (weeks) of self doubt, terrible self talk and zero motivation. I am nowhere close to running the Boston Marathon or doing an Ironman. Running has been such a brutal mental struggle for me. I know I can do it! I just can’t seem to shut myself up and just run! I’ve made improvements big and small in my swim and bike. My body image has vastly improved. You can’t wear this much spandex in public and continue to give many F’s about what it looks like. My bank account has been seriously depleted. But I’ve had a ton of fun on race road trips! I’ve made some really close friends and made stronger bonds with old friends. And I’ve learned to manage my expectations a bit. I’ve done about 20-something Sprint Triathlons. I’ve attempted 1 Olympic and crawled my way through a Half Marathon. I’m usually towards the back of the pack but my only goal is usually just to finish a tiny bit faster than last time.  I still have dreams of becoming an Ironman and running Boston. It’s just taking a wee bit longer than I thought. But I’ll get there! Eventually. And I’ll be rocking the spandex.


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Never Gonna Give You Up

July was a tough one for me and Racing. We did not get along at all. We fought, we didn’t communicate well, we stopped speaking. Ugh. I said some things I didn’t mean, Racing got very snippy with me. It was just awful. I even thought about breaking up with Racing and it’s partner, Training forever once they brought their friend Failure to the party.  I felt ganged up on and just wanted to be done. And not only done with Racing and Training, but I didn’t even want to see anyone remotely associated with them (which is about 90% of my social group these days).

So what happened? Well, injury, overtraining, not training enough, mental breakdown, excessive whining. At some point or another, all of the above and occasionally all at once. I headed into July feeling pretty good overall. I was clocking longer (though not very fast) distances on my bike and in the water. The run was still vexing me as it does. But even that was as good as it had ever been. I had been having some lower back issues that I just couldn’t shake for a few weeks. I didn’t tell anybody how badly it was bothering me and just continued on with my training. I was signed up for the Mack Cycle Trilogy July race and (against my coach’s wishes) decided to give it a try (try/tri, ha!). Why Tri? Cause race weekend is fun! I wanted to get away, with friends, and just laugh and have fun. And racing is fun. Especially when it goes well. I went into this one with zero expectations. Was just going to see how things went. No pressure. I wasn’t even necessarily doing it to finish. I promised my coach that I wouldn’t push it too much and I’d stop if I was in serious pain (other than the usual everything that hurts during a race that you ignore). Swim went well, hopped on the bike, up the steep bridge, dropped my chain. Felt a tweak in my lower back. Whatevs. Put my chain back on and went down the other side of the bridge. Quick turnaround and back up the steep bridge. And didn’t feel right at all. Back was killing me so when I got back towards transition, I turned in and called it quits. Hung out, watched my two friends come in like the bad ass women they are and then we went and ate and drank and laughed all the way home. Race fail? Not at all. It was an intense training session that told me where I stood with my back.

Two weeks later it was time for Boston Tri. My first Olympic. It had been my focus for months. I’m sure to a nauseating degree to my friends. I was a ready as I could be with my back issues. In the two weeks leading up for it I spent oodles of money on massage, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, cupping, stretching, creams, etc. I did everything but sacrifice a virgin (couldn’t find one). I went in with a pretty good, realistic attitude. I knew I could swim a (slow) mile, I knew I could bike the 21 miles and as far as the run? it wasn’t ideal, but I knew I could walk it when I needed to. My back had been bothering me at the beginning of the swim and when I got off the bike. I could deal. I was pretty excited to race and headed home with visions of shiny finishers medals dancing in my head.

Race day dawned pretty cold and rainy. And yada yada yada cold water, couldn’t breathe, ouch my back, finished swim, took too long, DQ (not Dairy Queen, sadly). Ugh. Most expensive swim ever. 2 days of mourning, then the sun came out and I continued on vacationing it up!

I’ve started this post like a dozen times (ok, twice) and just, ugh. I’m sick of myself!! I wrote the above paragraphs last night and blech! Can’t imagine you’re enjoying this boring ass wrap up. I tried to do my first Olympic Distance and couldn’t. I spent 2 and 1/2 weeks all depressed and whiny about it. Very dramatic “don’t know if I’ll ever race or train again” moments. Me, wearing my tri kit and wading into the ocean holding a cinder block while a slow, sad like Nine Inch Nails  version of “we are the Champions” plays. I mean, really. Just STTAAAHHHHPPP!

So I did. Suddenly starting getting the itch to train. I kept my exercise streak going (236 days as of today) even in the darkest mental moments which was either OCD or knowing deep down that I couldn’t really give Tri up.  Watching the Olympics really inspired me as has keeping in eye on what my fellow Key West Triathletes and Athena Badasses are doing. I’ve run a couple of times in the past few days, got on my trainer, have made obsessive training and food lists. And am officially back! Going to do Escape from Miami (whoops, its actually “to Miami” but none of us understands that) as a Sprint and I’m gunning for TriKW as my Olympic.

Hell, July wasn’t even all bad. 4th of July, my birthday, I jumped out of a freaking plane! Didn’t end the way I wanted it to, but boo freakin hoo, so what?

Time to put the Whiny Pants away and get back on the horse that threw me. Or something like that. Thanks to all that have inspired me to get out out there again!


now THAT was fun!

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I Ran, I Ran So (not) Far Awaayy..

Time to answer that all important question that literally nobody has asked “What have I been up to since SoBe Tri other than avoiding my blog?”. Quite a bit actually….

BAA 5k

After my victorious (last place) race that was the glory of the SoBe Tri, I had another race I was really looking forward to a couple of weeks later. The BAA (Boston Athletic Association) 5k on the Saturday of Marathon weekend has quickly become one of my favorite races despite the fact that I’ve only done it once before. Patriot’s Day Weekend is my favorite weekend in Boston and I always try to go back for it. The 5k gives you all the excitement of the Marathon but you don’t have to run 26.2 miles! Last time I did this race there was a lot going on and tho I didn’t have a fast time, I definitely loved every minute of it. This time I was more prepared. I ended up getting a PR! and I can’t wait to do it next year. It was a fun race! and I totally deserved the two donuts after.


everyone stops for selfies at the finish line! the 5k finish line is another 1/2 mile down the road


The Longest Mile

May found me heading to Texas to support a friend who was doing an Ironman. An Ironman. That’s doing a 2.2 mile swim, then a 112 mile bike and THEN run a marathon. 26.2 miles. after doing all of that! what?! I can’t even imagine it. I can imagine climbing Everest. Without oxygen. In flip flops more than I can imagine myself doing an Ironman. So kudos to those people! (btw, my friend killed it like it was nothing. Jerk face). One of our stops on the way to Texas,  I found myself having to do a run. It’s funny what being around someone who was so utterly prepared to do an Ironman does to your own psyche. If I were on my way to do an Ironman I’d be curled up in a ball softly moaning. Just moaning? Well yes, I’d be all cried out, vomited out, pooped out by the time the race was that close! I’m sweating a little bit now at the thought of it! But my friend was just all chill and though a little nervous, it didn’t really show. He carried himself mostly with an “yeah, I’ve got this” attitude. And it rubbed off on me just a little. I headed out of the hotel with my run/walk plan in mind and started running. And then I just kept going! and going! I ran a whole mile! was it fast? hell no! was it easy? hell no! Did I want to just run into the Buffalo Wild Wings whose parking lot I was running through and shove some wings down my gullet? Hell YES! But I didn’t. Suddenly I just thought of my friend doing his Ironman and I kept going. It seems so silly given how long he’d be running (after swimming and biking insane distances) but I was so proud of myself. And I cried (such a dork). This huge milestone was completed. Only took me like 3 years but whatevs. and then BAM, I ran a marathon! just kidding. I just gradually (and I do mean gradually) just keep building on that. Some days are for sure better than others!


so not a good picture lol. but that’s the picture that happened. sweaty, freckly, wrinkly, HAPPY me.


so, my mile is done. It’s been almost 4 weeks. I’d like to say that it’s gotten so much easier and I’ve run SO much further. But that’s not the case at all. Some days are good, some days are bad but I just keep moving forward. One awkward step at a time 🙂 Hey, maybe I’ll even do an Ironman someday….(oh god, I need to vom)

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Eye of the ummmm…kitten

South Beach Triathlon 2016

What can I say? <spoiler alert> I did it! I finished it! I swam real nice (and s.l.o.w.), I KILLED those bridges, I ran like a….like a…… a little bit like a…. ok. I walked. I walked like a…I don’t know what. Like a zombie? I did run a bit and when I ran, I ran like a hippo. That just finished eating. and was slightly wounded. But dammit, I finished.

Let’s start at the at the beginning, shall we?

Daylight broke over the beautiful vista of azure colored waters stretching endlessly in front of me as I stood at the swim start contemplating all of life’s mysteries and glories.
Just kidding. I don’t write like that! It’s far too exhausting and would require me to actually go back and read what I wrote and edit and stuff. Not for me! Most of the time at the swim start I’m thinking any or all of the following: a)Do I have enough time to vomit again b)no way is that girl an Athena c)I’d give ANYTHING to look like her-anything that didn’t require much time or effort d)that is a LOT of people getting rescued e)I have a wedgie and then in a mini, wavering inside my head voice: f)I’ve got this.

Ok, now we’ll start at the beginning. The very beginning of this race was approximately 5 minutes after my DNF from last year. Recap last year: nerves, food poisoning, self doubt, severe dehydration, swim!, medical tent, attempt at mounting bike I couldn’t really see and lastly DNF.

The very next day when registration opened up, I signed up and booked my hotel room (holla Bentley South Beach!). The rest of race season last year and training for this year, SoBe Tri 2016 was always in the back or front of my mind. Bridges, Bridges, Bridges went my brain for nearly a year. My coach Liz (Little Butt Fierce) Love and I planned everything pretty much around me finishing the race this year. What seems to fell me with this dang race are the bridges. Living on a flat little island with one small bridge doesn’t really build the best foundation for the mammoth bridges in South Miami. But I hit my trainer, I biked on windy days, I took spin classes. By the time race day came, weirdly, I felt the most confident in the bike portion. I know! Weird! I worked on my swim stroke to try to pick up speed. I worked on that god forsaken run. As I headed up to the race, I was excited! I really felt more ready than I had for any race previously. The only goal I had was to finish. Sure, it’d be nice to do better (MUCH better truthfully) than the other time I finished SoBe. But really, I just wanted to finish no matter how long it took. Amazing feeling to rid yourself of any time constraints and just concentrate on finishing. It’s how I was for my first few races before I started getting frustrated that I never saw huge improvements in my times. There’s a lesson in there for sure.

Everything leading up to the start was pretty uneventful overall. My friend Brandon and I went to packet pickup and other than the person handing me my stuff being absolutely SHOCKED that it wasn’t my first Triathlon, it was fun seeing other athletes, getting my bike envy on and looking at all the goodies I didn’t need to buy at the expo. We had an early dinner and then got our stuff ready for race day. We were both pretty relaxed and loose. It’s absolutely invaluable to have for me to have the company of a fellow racer that can joke around and is laid back about stuff (thanks Papi!) I went to bed and fell asleep quickly. Didn’t get the greatest night sleep ever but I’m not sure any racer does? I woke up like every hour on the hour. The hotel was right across the street from transition (yaay!) but also right in the thick of the peak season, South Beach action (boo for racing. great for partying though). Every time I woke up I heard people whooping it up. Luckily, I always fell back asleep right away. My alarm went off and I was immediately wide awake and went about getting ready. Listened to music, choked down some breakfast, lubed all the relevant places and we walked across the street to the race.

One of the things that brings me back to this race (other than the Unfinished Business theme) every year is the size of the race and the energy. Though I enjoy our small local races, it’s hard not to get amped up when there are around 2000 racers getting ready to tackle a course. It’s electric! (boogie woogie woogie). I’m not one of those people that spends HOURS setting up their transition area. It’s the one part I’m super efficient at. I make a list on my phone a day or two before and eliminate at least that part of race day stress. I chatted with the other Athenas, tried to chill out a bit and then walked down to the swim start. There are real bathrooms over at the swim start so I was excited not to have to be in a dark port-a-potty, barefoot, trying not to vom over the smell. One problem, THEY NEVER OPENED THE BATHROOMS!!!! So there we were, a whole lot of triathletes all peeing in the water. oh well. At least I didn’t have to run back to the transition loos to poo (poet alert!)

I warmed up a bit and was heading to my designated corral when, yup, had to vomit. Just a little though and off to the start I went. The conditions were definitely the calmest I had ever experienced with this race. There were thunderstorms threatening all morning but thankfully didn’t happen. I was glad it was overcast. There was a bit of a current which was challenging but definitely pretty good conditions overall. I was swimming along calmly and doing pretty well (for me. can we just note that from here on out, it’s always good/decent/pretty well “for me”. I know I’m not Rinny). With the outgoing tide, it was easy to get pushed a bit further out so I was sighting probably more than I should’ve been. This helped me spot all the jerky people cutting the turn buoy. Like what in the actual F? DON’T CUT BUOYS!!! It’s not fair to those of us that don’t CHEAT!!!! ok. I’m calm now. I wish the lifeguard on the paddle board was better at sighting so he didn’t put himself where I swam right into him. When I made the turn and started swimming for the exit. I was still a good 100 yards out and the life guard (same one that I ran into) very helpfully started screaming at me to stand up. I’ve always been taught to keep swimming as far as you can until your scraping the bottom. And that was a ways away. He was so insistent that I actually did stand. BIG mistake. Way too far out. In fact, as often is the case with the ocean, it got deeper again closer to shore. I had mistakenly taken my goggles off so couldn’t put my face in the water. I took my goggles off because the left one was filled with water and I couldn’t see. My eye would remain red and angry for several days. I hit the beach and a volunteer said “good job! you made it! all easy stuff from here”. He was so nice and trying to be encouraging. I said “that was my best leg” and kind of maniacally laughed. I headed for transition. That was in like Ft Lauderdale. Since there was no shuttle bus, I hoofed it to T1.


hooray! my best leg behind me! sigh.

I got on my bike and took off like a shot!! not really. I always have his weird panicky moment when I first mount my bike where I can’t clip in. It’s like it’s the first time I’ve ever done it. Every time. Actually, I’m pretty sure I clipped in better the first time that I ever tried it. I calmed myself down and got on with it. There’s a short, slightly steep bridge that I hit pretty quickly that I did just fine with. I knew I had a couple of miles til I hit the GIANT bridge so I concentrated on hydrating with my BASE Rocket Fuel (aminos, hydro and salt) and going as fast as I could as I knew I’d lose time climbing. Little did I know how much true that would be. (oooh…foreshadowing!). I seemed to have solved my GI race issues. I just do liquids. I use BASE products and some Skratch Labs. I keep some blocks on my bike and my run belt in case I need some more calories but really, the bonus of being an Athena athlete is I have plenty of “storage” to pull from already. For me, my problems happen with dehydration. Damn I dehydrate fast! Salt truly does save as my fellow BASE athletes know. I was thrilled that it remained overcast and hoped the rain would hold out. Then the first big test, heading up the MacArthur Causeway Bridge. UGH. But wait a minute, I actually passed some people. There were two people that walked their bikes up all the bridges. How do I know this? The bastards kept passing me on the straightaways. dammit. But that bridge was to be my bitch that day, my friends! I had zero trouble getting up it. Now that’s not to say I flew up it. Nope. slowly slugged my way up but not once did I think of getting off my bike and throwing my bike over it. Another straightaway through the cobblestone streets of Belgium. Wait we’re in Miami. What the F is up with these crappy roads! Me and my vajayjay made it through relatively unscathed and onto the next set of bridges known as the Julia Tuttle Causeway (I don’t know who she was but if she was anything like her namesake bridges she was a stocky, steep, mean lady). I made it over them pretty easily and then hit the turnaround. I felt like I was making good time until I hit the two Tuttle bridges on the way back. What the deuce? my gears kept slipping a bit. I made it over but it wiped me out a bit. Back over the cobbled streets of Belgium Miami and pretty soon (so not soon enough) I was back at that Bastard MacArthur Causeway Bridge (yes, I’m aware that “Causeway Bridge” isn’t possible but I don’t know what that bridge is actually called and I’m on an airplane writing this so can’t look it up. Try to move past it people!). Man! I struggled up that bridge with my gear slipping, my will slipping, my vajayjay numb and a BAD pain in my right hamstring. But I did it! and then I killed that last little bridge. Ha! Suck it, bridges!!!! Now why did I really have some trouble this time out? Oh, I never switched to my small ring. Yup. I sure am an idiot. I was so foc


This is my mid race attempt at a smile

used on climbing the bridges that it never occurred to me for even a second that I should GET OUT OF THE BIG RING. whoopsy. (sorry Dave). I eased into the dismount area with all the grace of an elephant trying to well, get off a bike. My hamstring was killing me which made actually getting off of the bike a challenge. I ended up basically dropping it and stepping over it. I’m guessing you don’t see that move a lot in Kona. Whatevs. It got me off my bike. I headed into T2 and that’s where it was super (not) fun. Here’s my PSA to the Olympic athletes, fast racers, etc: I’m required to be out of transition HOURS before my start so that you can start and have a clear path. So please do not come back into transition after your race until the designated time. It is not at all fun while I’m still racing to try to get past all of you clinking your finisher medals and moseying out with your bike. I think I can speak for all the back of the packers when I say “GET THE F#@$ OUT OF MY WAY!! I’M STILL RACING, AHOLE!”. Oh and thanks for all the encouragement. All 2 of you. Ok. rant over.


I swiftly hobbled out of T2 to the run. I had a plan going in. I would walk at X pace and run at X pace at X intervals. Well, my hamstring was killing me, by brain was telling me to quit. Almost everyone was done but me, whah, whah, whah. I was actually running slower than I was walking? huh? so I decided to just walk and get my shit together. Man, if anyone actually said the things to me that I say to myself during a run? I’d go ape on them. Oh wait, there’s a guy now “you know, if you lost some weight you could probably run like the rest of these folks”. really? REALLY? F-off dude. Nice. I didn’t go ape. I just took the punch and continued on. About mile 2 my hamstring started loosening up and I took off like I turned into Meb!!!! Ok, not really. I did start running though. I was just going to take it 1/2 mile at a time. During one of my walk breaks there was a voice that said “if you don’t run, you can’t call yourself a triathlete”. Bad enough when one thinks it to oneself. Luckily it was another Dbag along the course. People are just lovely! We had luckily avoided the hot Miami sun most of the race…..but there it was! I just kept going. Was able to start running a bit more. Any goals I had of finishing in a respectable time completely vanished. Now it was me against me. I started taking it 1/4 mile at a time and then an 1/8 of a mile at a time. Promising myself that if I just finished, I’d never ever have to do this race again! Eventually I spotted the turn onto the beach. There was a lovely tourist family that was heading to the beach that were FASCINATED by me and the race and they stuck with me until the chute. I’m pretty sure they were real. Once at the chute I broke out into a swift shuffle and FINALLY crossed the finish line!! I was so excited! and emotional! and very very nauseated. But I WAS DONE!!!


not my finish times. Just ignore the numbers and focus on the huge cheering crowds. 

It wasn’t my easiest race (then again, none of them are). It wasn’t my prettiest (again, none of them are) but it was definitely one of my proudest. And I never have to do it again. I swam like a person that had never done it before, I slayed the bridges, I conquered did the run (walked, whatevs). I had a score to settle with the South Beach Triathlon and I did it!!! I was dead freaking last but I did it! (insert inspirational thought of those that I beat those on the couch, the DNF’s etc) Never again would I have to torture myself with this race! Fine! SoBe, you were a worthy opponent and I gently knocked you out.

The End!
hmmmm….I bet if I did it next year, I could do it better…..dammit……


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South Beach Tri or Bust!(with terrible pictures!)

It’s the weirdest thing today. I’m actually super excited and feeling confident about the South Beach Triathlon this weekend! Now most of you are like “what’s the big deal? you like to race. Why wouldn’t you be excited”. While those that know me and my past with this race are like “Did you fall down and hit your head. Somebody call an ambulance!!”.

My SoBe “journey” started in 2013 when it was Nautica South Beach Triathlon. Ahhhh…high hopes. I had successfully completed all of like 2 Sprint Triathlons. Quite a few people were heading up to South Beach and I got swept up in the excitement. Traveling for a race! With my friends! It’s gonna be so fun!! (spoiler alert: It wasn’t). The seas were angry that day my friend (as they would be for every single year I’ve done it). I quickly figured out that my swim skills were lacking. Wasn’t afraid, just wasn’t very good at it (so cute how I use the past tense there. sigh.) I made it through the swim and hopped on my bike.

sobe 2013

Notice the people behind me….heading out on the run while I head out on the bike. The look on my face says it all.


Was feeling good(ish), even passed some people!! Wellllllll…..I headed up that M-Fer of a bridge and was pedaling, pedaling, ped-a-ling, ped OUCH MY BACK! figured I walk the last 20 yards and shake it out so I tried to unclip and FAILED. Tipped right over. Sure did. Hit my head, handlebars messed up, chain off. It was a mess. By the time humpty dumpty got itself together again, one of the king’s men informed me, ever so helpfully, that I was going to miss the cutoff for the bike and encouraged me to pack it in. DNF.





Then came SoBe 2014 and what was to be my crowning moment of glory!! I trained hard. I paid special attention to the bike training so I could conquer those damn bridges. I was ready! and I did it!! It wasn’t pretty, but I crossed that finish line severely dehydrated, overheated, perhaps minutes away from sunstroke, but PSYCHED!

sobe finsih

HOORAY!!!! I feel so alive…..ugh. it’s Hot. could I get some water? and some shade?
















sobe2015 swim

me no feel so well

Then there was last year. SoBe 2015. I was ready. I was prepared. I was up all night the night before with food poisoning. I was up there alone as the super tough conditions had most people I know skipping it. As I should have. I decided to just grab a SUB to go from the place right across the WAY from the hotel I was at. The place looked super sketchy but I did it anyway and paid the price. I made it through the swim and then added an extra transition when I went to the medical tent right after. Tried to mount my bike and decided to bag the whole thing when I couldn’t really see the bike I was trying to get on. DNF



So here we are for South Beach Triathlon (as it’s called now) 2016. It’s 5 days away and I ain’t scared! I’m excited! I’m pumped! I may be slightly delusional. But that’s the beauty of this sport. You can always fool yourself into thinking things will be better. and I really believe it will be. I’m MUCH better prepared and have done enough of these to know that I can always gut it out. Unless of course my guts are actually out.

A few months ago I did a scary thing. And it kind of reminds me of triathlon. It was a gorge swing. You get all strapped up and then step off a platform into the abyss 400 some odd feet below fairly confident you won’t actually die. As you start it you’re “WTF am I doing???? I am so scared”  You reach the bottom and you’re like “NEVER EVER AGAIN”. By the time you get to the top, you’re like “Hell yeah! I can’t wait to do this again!”

Enjoy the excuse for me to post this video yet again (sorry). SoBe or Bust!!!

gorge swing (quick video)




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Activity Tracker and OCD, Which Came First?

WARNING: This post kind of got away from me a little. Little all over the place. And since I don’t reread and edit before I post, I’m guessing I’m not going to fix it. Plus, I’ve got a deadline.

I’m a stat girl, a planner and very organized (in most aspects of life anyway). I read the box scores after every Bruins and Sox game, I spend MONTHS planning vacations and workouts (I’m much better at following the vacation plan than the workout), when it comes to work I’m organized to an almost psychotic degree (DO NOT move things around on me!). So when the activity tracker craze really kicked in the last couple of years, I’m like “sign me up!!”.  The problem with me is that I don’t have much of an attention span which generally makes the stat fan, planner, organizer useless.

The idea of an activity tracker appeals to me. Why? no idea. My job is either super active or completely sedentary. It’s nice to have a reminder to move around on a day when I’m at my desk all day. Apparently keeping a year round Triathlon training schedule isn’t enough?

I started a couple of years ago with a nice slim activity tracker. Now if you even half read the former sentence you have figured out that this tracker was not for me. I don’t want to bad mouth it as I’m sure it works for many people. I’ll just call it a “Mawbone” . This looked like a very sturdy bracelet. Very unassuming. It was kind of pretty at first. Navy blue and silver. I promptly started using it. That lasted like a week. I didn’t like the fact that it kind of looked like a medical alert bracelet. When you’re a little large you don’t really want to look like you may need medical attention at any time. It was just a bracelet without a screen. It would flash different sequences of lights that meant you should move, or you were sleeping or the batteries were low or you should dismantle that bomb. I don’t know. It was all very confusing to me. It probably would’ve made sense if I had read the directions. But then you don’t get paper directions anymore. It’s all on a website. And usually when I go to look something up I get distracted by other things on the web like the latest news (not really) and reality show blogs and shopping and well, anything shiny. Then I’m tired and need to take a nap. But my bracelet requires me to hit a button to track my sleep so now I don’t know if my nap was good or not. And the bracelet wasn’t as tiny as I thought. I still need to wear a watch for my job and it was just way too much. and just argh!! So the Mawbone was abandoned pretty quickly.

Next up was my beloved Garmin Forerunner 920 XT. Sigh. A lovely training watch. First one that can track all 3 sports without having to time your swim with the skiing activity (like 5 garmin wearers will get that). It also counts steps!! So you can wear it every day, all day! Except it’s GIANT! Not noticeable training or racing, but feels like you’re suddenly wearing a house arrest bracelet in daily life. It’s ok though 920XT, you still my boo.

And then I found the Garmin Vivoactive. I heart this watch. Cause it’s like a watch! but it also tracks activities! I can wear it biking, running and even swimming. I can get notifications. It also tracks my steps! Truthfully I just use it to track my steps and to you know, see what time it is. I’ve got Garmin Connect on my phone. I paid way too much money for the Garmin scale. I’ve got Connect synced with the scale and the Vivoactive and My Fitness Pal (food diet). I look at my Connect stats every night and analyze. Still have no idea what a SWOLF is. I keep meaning to look that up online. oops.  I’ve had it for almost 2 months and it’s helped me a lot with a little streak I have going.

Every year (ok, almost every year. Well, some years. Ok fine, like a couple years here and there) I start an exercise streak on Jan 1. How original! I’ve lasted only into March. once. That streak ended when I fell down the stairs. True story. Doing laundry is super dangerous. What qualifies as exercise to make it part of THE STREAK? It’s whatever you decide as your minimum. So for me, it’s 5,000 steps on office days plus CORE exercise. And 10,000 steps on work days plus CORE. I’m not talking like 1 billion sit ups or planking for 3 hours. I mean the minimum I let myself get away with is 25 sit ups. Sounds absolutely ridiculous, right? It is. Mostly. I’ve been dealing with a shoulder injury (100% healed now!) and some hip and lower back pain (75% healed!) so I’ve been limited on what I can do for Tri training. Plus I got a serious case of the whinys (85% healed!) where I just have been depressed about not being able to train so that when it comes to a workout I can power through, I don’t wanna! (insert foot stamp. but not too hard). I’ve just been pissy and poopy and a bit of a something else starting with a p and ending with y (meow). February 1 (as seems to be the trend) has seen me have a 180 in my attitude and I can’t wait to workout now! Well, not now. I’m watching The Challenge on Mtv (may they never drug test). But in general, I’m ready to get back at it full speed(ish. we know I’m not fast). And the stupid little STREAK has saved me from losing a ton of fitness. When I was unable to swim/bike/run, I was still obsessed with THE STREAK. But I’m also super forgetful. I had more than one evening when I was in bed and then “crap. I forgot about THE STREAK”.  And then I’d hop out of bed and bust out the sit ups. For reals. And the step counting. So obsessed. To a bit of an alarming degree. Even if I took the Vivoactive off to swim or bike (I only wear it for running), I still need the damn steps!!! I do get irritated when I’ve bike 20 miles and had a strength training session and then the damn thing buzzes at me to “Move!”. F U Vivo. YOU move.  But I’ll still get those steps. In fact, I’ve got 20 mins to run around my apartment. 900 steps short! See ya!

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Looking Back…(or how I choose to remember)

I always hate when tv shows I love bill an episode as “new” yet it’s just a recap of past episodes or a clip show. I mean, really. I’m a fan. Don’t show me stuff I’ve already watched and call it “new”. Just cause you’ve got a little writer’s block and are out of ideas. Jees. Writers can be so lazy.

So, here’s my 2015 Clip Show! (what? I’m tired)

Started the year off with my eyes on the SoBe Tri in April.


Wanted to start off light(ish) and supporting our local Sprint Tri: FKCC Sprint Triathlon. It was going to be a little different for me as I would be racing alongside a Special Olympics Relay Team. It was interesting training. I spent 1-2 times a week training with my Athletes who required varying levels of attention.


Packet pickup L to R: Linnea, Jennifer, Michael

Race day was an experience I’ll never forget and definitely one of the highlights of my year. Before the race I wasn’t sure if any of them would be able to go the distance. I knew better than to doubt them. They hit it out of the park! Each of them showed a determination and just true love and enthusiasm for competition that taught me a lot about how a good attitude can get you far!


Up next was the dang SoBe Triathlon “classic”. It was anything but. Food Poisoning, Swim, T1=medical tent, attempted bike=FAIL

sobe 15


Much more fun! The MaraTri 9. Just a super fun race weekend. Few of us stayed up in Marathon the night before. Had a fun race! then went to watch a friend dominate at Miami Man Speedway. Any weekend that is all about Tri is a great weekend! (cough DORK cough)

maratri 15

Me and my steed at MaraTri9



Heartland Sprint Tri. fun race! hilly (for me), vomity (not unusual at that point), finished.

Heartland 15

One of us is wicked fast. The other one is me (why yes, my number is backwards)



(lordy, this wrap up is boring me. sorry!)

Mack Cycle Tri

Last minute course change on bike. Lots and lots of vomit (I think I have race bulimia) but 1st podium at a bigger race! Score!!

Mack Cycle 15

winner winner chicken dinner! (which if I were racing right after, I’d probably vom)


RocketMan Tri

Went with my favorite race travel buddy. Hilariously bad swim conditions (super shallow: couldn’t swim, had to walk. Swalk PR), best bike ever around Cape Canaveral!! Run was good. finally got my act together and didn’t vom. Thanks BASE! Just a super fun race weekend.

rocketman finish

Somebody is glad to be finished. and looking super sexy (or like I’m mid seizure)


DECEMBER (I know, thank god this wrap up is almost done)

TriKW (sprint)

Got kicked in the shoulder during the swim by Bret Favre (not really), wet bike, great run. PR! And best post race party of the bunch. I definitely PR’d in Fireball.

TriKW 15.jpg

This race and the year are finished!!

OK, to sum up: Great races, some injuries, LOTS of vomit. good times

Thanks to everyone who has supported me on and off the race course and this blog!

Special thanks to Liz Love (Liz Love Fitness), StayFit Studio Key West for sponsoring me, Key West TriClub for all the support and my crew and boss at Lazy Dog Adventures Key West for covering me so I could take off and race.

2015 medals

Bling bling…hello?

And a funny look at the map of my readers in 2015. Guess I should learn Portuguese?

2015 countries

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