Ok, so I haven't been on the racing scene since Timberman....whare have I been?? truth is, I'm worn out. Things have been go go go since way back in 2007...with a few little breaks here and there, but really, not much time for regaining my endurance base. it's all been train hard, and try to peak and get faster at 70.3's...even in the "off season". last year, i was hurt in the off season, which became a limiting factor in the "on season". i made some poor choices in hope that i could just baby an injury and make it through without losing speed and fitness.

well, i proved to myself that I could made it through. but at what cost? I spent most of my year in a plateau. I know that now since i can look back over the year. and, Ahem.. I put on a few pounds too (how is that possible when you put the miles on like i do...well, it is. our bodies will respond to stress...and in a plateau, the leaning out stopped, and the pudgy snuck in). It's not huge, but enough i can tell. and it affected my training...rather, my training affected me :-)

So, The tide has turned. I want to race more as i have an enormous amount of guilt ( that being raised in the catholic church instills in you). I feel like i am letting down my supporters and sponsors. But the reality is, is that we are all human, and have to find our way through the thick and thin - whatever life throws at us. Most of us know that. and most people understand. The hard part is getting MY BRAIN to understand it.

This morning i sat on the porch with Lauren Rolston's mom, Susan, shooting the you know what. It was a good talk..as insignifigant as it may have seemed to her, it was a good moment for me. Lauren is in her 20's and she and her parents are people i have been lucky enough to have gotten to know through triathlon and swimming since i returned to the "active" life. Lauren and her mom and dad were familiar with Donnie long before i came into the picture and knew of his battle with ALS and his death in 2005. Donnie was my first introduction of what a fatal disease can do to you and the people around you. It changed my life forever. The Rolston's are more familiar with neuromuscular disease than most people know. Lauren is in her early 20's and was diagnosed with MS earlier this year....but their knowledge of overcoming obstacles like that goes way deeper than that. I admire them for their attitudes, their willingness to help others, and their perseverence to keep on. I watch and learn from these generous people. They probably don't even know how much their lives influence others. Those are the ones to watch...

So, Lauren is a trooper. taking it all with a grain of salt...and maybe a shot of tequila (oh, just kiddin....i don't even know if she drinks:-). She is flying in from Austin for the weekend for the MS Tour for Cure. She's riding a tandem with her dad for the 75 miles up to McComb, MS. Her mom, who bought a bike to ride the tour, has put together TEAM LAUREN ROCKS and as a team we have raised over $18,000 so far. It's is great to be a part of this team.

Oh wait, i got off track....sort of. where have I been if I have not been racing? I've been training slow - all zone 1 trying to keep my heartrate down. Classic endurance aerobic engine building. I hope to do an Ironman early in 2010, and to do that, and do it right, i need to have a solid endurance base, and a fresh mind and spirit. i am finished racing because i have to, or feel pressured to. i know, i get to. i am able. i am soo lucky, but i want to do better. i can finish anyting i start. i know i can. but i want to win a big race. i want to do a sub 10hr Ironman. to do that, i need to be where i am now - surrounding myself with the people who inspire me to rebuild some of that mental, physical, and emotional base i seemed to have lost a hold of.


Racoon Hunting

ok, now this is worth a good laugh

Since moving into this new house, we have had a few pests visit...i've seen a possum and a black cat coming around to eat whatever food my kitties have left behind...oh, and the black widow and southern brown widow spiders.....but i've never seen the racoon. well, if i've never seen it, then how do i know it's around you ask? well, he's left presents - like poop in out pool. you got it, POOP! and i've seen his little footprints too. sneaky little critter.

so for 3 nights, i have put the kitties in the garage (my makeshift painting studio - but thats another story) and have set the trap with wet cat food in hopes of catching the racoon...or whatever critter continues to haunt my cats overnight. but really, I WANT THAT RACOON. and for 3 nights, the racoon has come and gone eating the bait and eluding the trap door. how is this? Ryan and I thought maybe the trap needed greasing so it would close....so yesterday, i WD-40'd it and set it for te 3rd time with good vibes...but when i got up this morning at 430 am to go swim - NOTHING! agh. and most of the food was gone except for some small amounts slathered to the metal of the cage like paste.

so off to swim i went, letting the kitties out of the garage as i pulled out.

when i got home, after cutting the grass, i walked onto the back patio - and there it was - THE TRAP HAD A CRITTER IN IT! But it wasnt the racoon.....it was Scoots, my garbage can kitty ( i found him in the garbage can in hawaii outside of sears. that cat will eat anything). Tis is the same cat who buries his face into my stinky shoes.

I had to pull myself off the ground from laughing so hard. His meows were so pathetic as he lay there in the trap. too funny


Life has a funny way...

....of sneaking up on you.

sound familiar? ..... Alanis Morissette.....

Since Timberman, I have been reflecting a lot on the past year -the race season and all the other things going on in my life. It's amazing how life creeps in on you and ruins everything - or is it ruined? likely not...

ruined is perhaps a harsh word. things are hardly ruined, but are different for sure. they have surely changed, but change is good, right? things always change, I just need to adapt a little better maybe..

once upon a time, i lived in my little apartment in Mandeville with 2 cats and a really low rent payment. I quit working full time to focus on training and honing in on the things that make me happy - the things I love to do. i changed my spending habits to fit my cut in income. it was simple. it was easy. it was only me. training was hard, but there was less stuff to do in my down time. it was great.

then, i met ryan, and that was great.

it's been over 3 years together, and that's great.

we live in a big house, and that's great. really, it's beautiful.

but man, life has a funny way of sneaking up on you, doesn't it? I feel like I woke up and life isn't so simple anymore. (I want to know how those of you with kids do it...)one day and I am so behind on all the things I used to be able to keep up with like my blog, my website, oh gosh - everyhting. I have let it get to me a bit, and really, when i think about it, I wouldn't change any of it for anything. Thank GOD for all the things in my life now.

"Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out "


The race turned out to be more of a great experience...than a great experience, if you know what I mean. Don't worry, I'll fill you in....

The wait to get into the park was really no big deal - once i got in, i set up my stuff in good time and foung myself ready to go at the swim start for a bit of a warm up. then, we heard there was a wreck somewhere in the area, and the cops we needed for the race had to be on scene...so we had a "little" delay. 30 minutes....

as soon as i heard about the delay, i scanned the crowd for a jacket i could borrow, since we weren't in wetsuits (pro's - no wetsuit) and after warming up, i was wet and sitting out in the crisp morning air. a very nice lady let me borrow her rain jacket, and i was in good shape. so we all just hung out chattin' for a while.

just before the race start, Crissie Wellington took the microphone and spoke about John Blais and the horrible disease that killed him - ALS. I lost it. She sprinkled some of his ashes into the water...and I was having a lot of trouble composing myself. I mean, just starting a race at this level is enough to get your anxiety and emotions rolling, but to add to it the memory of Donnie, his disease, his life, his death, and all the amazing things that have blessed my life since I met him...well, that was just overwhelming. the tears were a flowin and my whole face was red hot and swollen...and now, it was time to SWIM! okay...

The swim went off uneventfully - I had thoughts of donnie going thru my snotty head the whole way - thinking to myself how he would love to be out here in this beautiful lake swimming next to the likes of Andy Potts, Crissie Wellington, and Michael Lavato and many of the other amazing athletes racing pro these days....OK, so I wasn't really swimming next to them. I started next to them....but they pretty much left me at about 10 meters or so...it was a nice thought though!

When i exited the water, i noticed i may not have had the best swim ever since there was only one guy around me...and when i finally made it to my bike, my thoughts were confirmed. most of the bike were gone. ok, time to make some time up here.

off on the bike.... i was looking fo someone to catch, to pull in, to let me know i'm making progress...no one. what a long ride solo. beautiful, but long. i tried to catch someone, but all the pro's are pretty much too fast :-) the ride was fabulous. beautiful, hilly, challenging, and fun. i encountered a few mental deamons on the bike since there was no one to focus on passing to distract my attention. man, these thoughts can creep in fast and before you know it, they can take over your psyche. and they did. how did i let that happen?? i dunno. it takes practice to stay focused on the positive and dismiss the negative- maybe i haven't been working on that enough.

so into transition for the run, i was feeling a bit rough mentally and emotionally after chasing and not catching anyone, but my legs felt ok to i was hoping to get a good run out of the day. as i took off, i was pleased to not have any cramping in my legs - something i have had to deal with in races. the legs felt pretty good. But at about a mile in, a side stitch set in and never went away. a miserable run is one where you get a cramp and it stays the entire time. 13.1 miles. i had to keep my pace down to keep moving forward or the stitch was way overwhelming. so I just settled in to a not-so-happy medium. im not sure if its harder to run slow with a cramp, or to run fast with no cramp, just your HR up. the slower option takes a lot longer and seems to never want to end....i think its harder to run funny with a cramp.

During the run, i realized where i was in the mix - 7th. pretty far out of 6th (Terra Castro) and early on i hoped the stitch would go away so maybe i could move up a bit. no luck there...so my goal changed to just push, follow thru, and finish the day without dropping a place. My thoughts went back and forth from negaitve to positive. Boy did i struggle with my thoughts in this race. I am not sure why I struggled so much this day, but I did. I eventually was able to get a hold of them all and remember why it is I am out here....because i get to....

It's not all about winning. Sure, it's nice to win some $$, but I'm not in this sport to get rich! I guess GOLF would have been the better sport for that :-)

So why do i do this day after day - up at 4, to bed at 8, swim, bike, run, repeat? It's about living this life I get to live. It's to toe the line with the best endurance athletes in the world. It's to share my experiences with others so that they can also learn from them. It's to share and help others use triathlon to jump start their passions for sport. It's the mere fact that I have sucessfully pulled myself out of a rut I was stuck in for over 10 years, and have climbed the ladder to be right here - racing as a Professional Triathlete !! So what kind of experience do i want? I have the CHOICE to make it positive or negative. I choose positive.

It's more than a podium and a check that drives my spirit...and I love it!