Week 10-17. March 2-April 26, 201-Feeling a bit more fabulous

Week 10-17. March 2-April 26, 201-Feeling a bit more fabulous

Well the year started off a little slow but since my last post I have actually done some pretty cool stuff. First up my St. Jude Children’s Hospital fundraising. I am still over the moon over how that turned out. … Continue reading

Week thirty-eight to week fifty-two September 15-December 31, 2014 You are an Ironman to Happy New Year

Wow I am so embarrassed that I stopped blogging. I have no idea what happened but I suspect it all comes down to this little statement, that I heard 14 hours and 24 minutes after I started swimming in Cambridge, Maryland, “Espe Kelly you are an Ironman”. I have to tell you that it was an incredible feeling. Much more than I ever expected. So here is what I remember from the lead up to it.


I got all packed up just like I had for CDA. I had my checklists and got everything ready. Then I took off to Maryland. I arrived in to Washington DC, got my rental car and then drove to Cambridge (well actually Easton) where I had rented a gorgeous house. On the way I stopped at the first grocery store I saw and stocked up on water, bananas, bacon (yes-I eat it on my ride) and food for breakfast so when my family showed up there would be food for them.

As soon as I got to the house I figured out where everyone was sleeping then unpacked and got my stuff organized. Then my friend Cathy McIntyre came for a visit. I met her my freshman year in college and I have not seen her since then. It was a 31year overdue visit. We hung out at the house until the agent came by to give me keys. Then we went to dinner, caught up and tried to piece together our freshman year. Just so you know we never pieced it together.

with cathy

Cathy and I at dinner

The most interesting thing I found out is that Cathy somehow developed a fear of going over the bay bridge. She actually has a service that meets her and drives her over the bridge. Yes it was a scary looking bridge but I had no idea people freak out. So I am very happy that Cathy was able to meet me for dinner. I later found out that my cousin John Michael doesn’t like it either. He told me the night of the ironman that he would never drive that bridge for me again. I love you John Michael for doing that to come watch my race.

Next day it was time to register and meet up with Ritchie, one of my Alien teammates. We got our gear and made plans to meet the next morning for a pre-race brick then check in our bikes.


That night I went out to dinner with my high school English teacher who also happened to be my track coach. It was great to catch up and hear the stories about how she went crazy trying to get me to run a mile in high school. She had told me before that she did not understand how I became so disciplined. Ceres Bainbridge, I had other priorities in high school. After dinner I went back to the house to wait for Steve to show up. He drove 8 hours to come watch me race.

Steve made it and was hungry so I got his dinner ready. I had ordered food from the restaurant and he was happy to have dinner ready for him. We then put my bike back together. Sometimes I wonder why I just don’t do these things on my own. Steve just does things without instruction (you know the engineer in him). Well of course it was not right and I flipped out. Luckily I have a great bike mechanic and he took my call late at night and he walked Steve through the putting the bike back together and everything turned out all right.

Next day we picked up Ritchie and headed to swim start. Ritchie and I went for a swim and followed it up a with a short bike ride. Then we dropped our bikes off. Once that is done then it becomes real.

having fun on the hill

The big hill

practice with ritchie

Swim Start Practice

ready with ritchie

Wetsuits on ready for pre-race brick

We then went to lunch, dropped Ritchie off then headed back to the house where we found my Mom and John Michael. We had a couple glasses of wine and the boys cooked up some steaks and baked potatoes.


John Michael and Steve prepare dinner


After dinner I checked all my bags and then proceeded to try to get some sleep.

Then it was race day. My Mom had told me the night before she was only going to the end (she had already done everything at CDA and it was too much for her). But she surprised me by being up and ready to go watch me swim. It was great. We took off to the start which included getting on a yellow school bus and then some walking. Her and Steve were so helpful and I was feeling good.

mom at swim swim satert with steve and mom swim start

As I was waiting to start I noticed very tall skinny young guys surrounded me. I should have known I was in the wrong place. But I was too excited to realize what I was about to experience. My strategy was to take off 10 minutes earlier than in CDA so that I had more time on the bike. I had done pretty good in CDA so I figured it would be ok. Oh boy was I wrong. During the first part of the swim I was getting run over by faster swimmers. This is everyone’s worst nightmare in the water. I kept trying to move over to the outside but I could not so finally I just said ok at some point they will stop coming since they will have all passed me. My main focus for about 500m was to not get kicked in the face. Then it all stopped and I was able to get in a groove and before I knew it was time for the second lap. By this point I was feeling good and finished just over 1:30:00, which was just a bit slower than CDA.

out of swim

When I got out of the water I saw Steve and my Mom. That was such a great feeling. I made it through transition quicker than CDA (I had learned a few things and well it wasn’t as cold so a few less things to put on). As I was leaving transition I saw my Mom, Steve and Ceres (my high school teacher). That just made me so happy and before I knew it I was on the bike.

The bike was great. It was flat and windy but less windy than I expected. So I was super excited. I had decided to wear one of my Australian jerseys and that turned out to be a great thing. So many people yelled out to me so that kept me distracted and feeling great.

It was a 2-loop ride and when I finished the first loop I was thrilled because I was on a good pace and feeling good. We then passed the special needs bags I decided I did not need to stop. There was nothing I needed and thought I would take advantage of that fact. There were a few people who I was riding with and we kept passing each other back and forth and we would yell at each other as motivation.

other riders

After the special needs I lost them, I guess they stopped. It all of a sudden became strange because no one was in front of me or behind me. After many miles I started wondering if I had taken a wrong turn. I had to remind myself that I could not make a wrong turn but never the less I thought I had. I kept riding and looking at the wonderful scenery and then I came across the flooded road.

water bike

We were warned about it but really I did not think it was possible but they were right. The road floods at high tide.

I knew at this point I was close to the next aid station and I wanted it so bad because I wanted a rest. My thoughts were playing games in my head and I wanted to see other riders. I wanted to make sure I was not the last one. When I finally made it to the aid station it was good to know I was not alone. I stopped stretched, ate some bacon and took off. Before I knew it I was at mile 92. The dreaded 92 are what went through my mind. I looked down at my computer and saw I had only been riding 6 hours. I screamed out of enjoyment. In CDA it took me 9 hours. I was so happy I wanted to throw my legs up but couldn’t since I was clipped in.

fun on bike fun on bike 2

The last 10 miles ended up being the windiest and I was not happy. I wanted to ride out of aero but when the wind is in your face in aero you must go. So aero it was. Then at 7 hours and 14 minutes I was done with the bike. I remember seeing Steve and I started yelling like a crazy person. I did it I did it.

I handed my bike off and somehow got through transition in no time. I was so excited that I could not figure how to get out of the tent. As I ran out I saw Steve and he was alone. I was like where is everyone he yelled out they are slackers I shook my head and took off.

I always knew if I made it to the run I could make it even if I had to walk.   Andy thought the same thing and apparently told Steve if I made it to mile 18 to go ahead and buy my finisher gear (which he did). I also found out later that all of Andy’s congratulation messages were sent after I got to mile 18.

best running pic

John Michael took this picture. My favorite as it shows how I felt throughout the run.

The run course turned out to be a great course although I had originally thought it would suck doing 3 loops. What ended up happening is that because of the 3 loops you saw the same people which after awhile started cheering you on, then you got to see people from Miami and the best part was hearing the announcer pretty much the entire time. The one surprising thing was how the volunteers started looking for you as you went by the aid stations. They really got to know you. That proved to be useful on the last lap since they knew it was your last lap they pushed you.

When I started the run I was running so fast and got through mile 1 in about 10 minutes. I was freaking because Andy had said to me if I was running faster than 10:30 it was going to be a bad race. I tried to slow down but my legs were just running so fast. After about 4 miles I stopped to go to the bathroom. That was a good move because it helped me get back to a realistic pace. I ran at a pretty good pace for most of the route with a few miles where it seemed I was running slower but really it was the bathroom stops that slowed me down. When I got to mile 18 my knee started hurting. I didn’t worry too much I knew I had Tylenol in my special needs bag. I do not normally mask the pain but I was tonight if I needed to. I did grab my bag got the Tylenol and kept going.   I could not get the package open so I decided I would give it to Steve when I saw him. He was nervous about doing that since it is against the rules. I insisted and well he did get it open for me and on the way back for my last loop I took the Tylenol (and I even had to have a volunteer help me open it. Those packages are brutal).

After about 1 mile I felt better and I decided it was time to get it done. Beside by this time they were handing out the chicken broth, which really does fuel you so I was picking up my pace. All of a sudden I was moving faster and faster and people started noticing and were cheering me on (the advantage of the 3 loops) I Just kept going and every time someone cheered for me especially the runners I just got faster and faster. Then before I knew it I was at the last turn around. It was at the brewery with lot s of people and they always went crazy if you turned left (that meant it was the last loop and you were almost done (I mean these people went crazy. It was just like adding speed to your blood stream so I took off.) I went past what was to be the last water stop and the volunteer who I had just cheered me on to go faster was going crazy about how fast I was going. Just at that moment my watch announced I had done a 9:30 minute mile and I screamed that out he flipped and yelled go you are so close to the end. He didn’t even let me get water. At that point everyone was yelling at me to go faster. I was like where is the finish and they said straight ahead. I saw one person in front and I had to make a choice to either slow down or pass her. I wanted to make sure I was alone in the chute. I chose to go faster and passed her and then all I saw was lights. I heard my sister Elena and then there was the finish line. It was so sudden I didn’t even do my happy dance as I had planned.

finish finish 2

The process after I finished seemed to have gone so fast that I do not even remember anything except getting my chocolate milk. That was the best chocolate milk I have ever had. Then all of a sudden there was Steve, my mom (crying), my cousin John Michael and my sister Elena.

mom crying

Best part of the night. I talked to them for a while but I needed food so I headed to the athlete tent had some food and then met them outside. They had a bottle of wine for me and then one for them. At this point I asked about Ritchie and all of a sudden he showed up.

with ritchie

We hung out for a while and then everyone wanted to eat so we went back to the house. As usual I took a to go cup well to go bottle and we headed to the car. Oh boy that was hard. I made a stupid mistake and changed shoes. Not a good idea because once I took the running shoes off my feet went crazy. Steve took off to get the car and I finally made it to the parking lot. Just writing this is making my feet throb.

We went back to the house, I took a shower and then wanted to hang out and chit chat but I was the only one that wanted to stay up. Really I was the only one not tired. Well I was tired I just didn’t know it. The next day they were supposed to cook breakfast but again I was up and they were sleeping so I started. I put the bacon on, beat the eggs and made the pancake mix. After awhile Steve took over and finished up and we had a great breakfast.

After breakfast we headed to Washington DC to see my Dad’s exhibit at the Newseum at the Smithsonian Museum. That was a great way to finish up my Ironman experience.


After I got home I went back through Facebook and noticed all of the messages everyone one had sent me. That brought me to tears. There were so many people cheering me on, updating my status through out the day and posting my progress. There are no words to describe the support that I got from not only my family but friends and friends of friends. I was amazed at how people who did not even know me were cheering me on just because I was a friend of one of their friends. That really is the magic of Facebook. ( I can not even begin to try to show those messages here).

I know I should conclude my ironman experience here but I find it very difficult because even today I find it hard to accept that I actually did it.

So what happened after week thirty-eight pretty much goes as follows:

  • Did the swim portion of a relay race
  • escape to miami
  • Jumped out of an airplane
  •  friends skydivefun skydiving
  • Got the dreaded Ironman cold
  • Tried our for The Amazing Race
  • amazing race
  • Went on a cruise
  • on a boat
  • Hung out with my cousin Jorge
  • dinner with Jorge
  • Ran in the Coconut Grove Bed Race (well we had fun anyway)
  • bed race

    Me, Mike Page, Paula (Nonya Binis) Mari Lovo and Kristin Dean

  • Moved out of my house to get my floors fixed
  • Hung out with Steve for 3 weeks
  • hung out with Steve
  • Did amazing at Key West Triathlon (6th in my age group and personnel best for an Olympic distance)
  • key west tri
  • After 6 weeks moved back in Christmas Eve and proceeded to unpack
  • Christmas at my cousin’s house
  • New years at another cousin’s
  • new years

And that pretty much sums up my year.

What I learned these past 14 weeks is:

  • Time sure does go by fast
  • Jumping out of an airplane is the most incredible thing ever but will not get rid of the fear of going down a hill fast
  • Feels great to not turn on an alarm clock
  • It is easy to over book events since you are not paying attention to alarms or schedules
  • I miss Ironman training
  • I can do ok even without training after an ironman (it hurt but I did ok).
  • It still hurts to eat wheat and it is easy to say who cares (and that is a bad thing)
  • I love where I live (not so much in Miami but the location of my house).
  • It is ok not to have followed all of your resolutions
  • Declaring 52 week to Greatness actually got me to Greatness (I am an Ironman and I reached my target for my business)
  • 2014 was a great year
  • I am sure there are other lessons that I can not recall right now

Quote for the year:

Dream, Believe, Achieve

I do not know who said this but it is what I chose to do this year. I dreamt, I believed and I achieved. I had failures but because I believed, I achieved. I loved 2014.

Week twenty-nine to thirty-seven. July 14-September 14, 2014 – I am ready for Maryland

It has been 8 weeks since my last blog post. Wow how time flies when you are having fun. So what have I been doing since my DNF you ask? Well I went to the Bahamas on a 14 day sailing trip (fun as hell),

photo 4photo 1-1photo 2-1DSC_0530

went to NYC for a triathlon (and it was a blast of a race),

photo 1

It’s all about the medal

photo 2

Leo and me

went back to the Bahamas for work, then I went to NJ for a wedding of my very good friend Shefalee (best time ever and even met a triathlete)

photome and shef

The beautiful bride Shefalee and me

and have been training for Ironman Maryland.   The training has been hard since I have been traveling and my CDA training buddies (Joe, Leo and Kristin) are on the “I do not want to wake up early” mode. Seriously I do not blame them but I will say that they have been really good about at least meeting me for part of my bike and run. In addition to them trying to meet me, Joe sent me a very frank pep talk email where he basically told me that I needed to get my shit together on the bike if I wanted to finish IM Maryland. I had been pretty much riding alone and wasn’t making any progress so the last few weeks I have been riding with some other Aliens and that has actually been great. David, Efrain, Joaquin, Ernesto and Otto have pushed the hell out of me and in 3 weeks I went from an average speed of 14.5mph to 16.89mph. That is some serious improvement. Also for some reason my running has been great. I even ran a 7:40 mile on test day. I have never done that. I have also been in regular contact with coach Andy. Here are some of his messages.

photo 3photo 2photo 1

Until today he has been more confident   about me finishing than me. It feels good to finally agree with him.

I have also been working on getting my business off the ground. I had not been too organized in my accounting so one day I sat down and caught up. The bad news is that I had a lot of money out there. The good news is that I am on target to meet my goal for my first year. My goal was to make a certain amount and then have enough money in the bank to cover 3 months of the company expenses. I have the 3 months covered so now I just have to generate enough revenue to meet the amount. I am more than half way there and things are picking up so I am very happy about that.

The other project I have been up to is getting ready for the floor replacement. Total pain in the butt and I am going to have to move out. So I have been avoiding that like the plague. I cannot wait until that is done. I have scheduled the work after IM Maryland for obvious reasons.

Between all that I have been getting to know some IM Maryland athletes through Facebook. It is nice to know you are not alone in the fears that come with taking on such a challenge. It is also nice to know that there are people out there who are just as crazy and to find people who are just plain funny. One of the girls made up some temporary tattoos and I can’t wait to see people out on the course with them. It is our special group.

Ironman Maryland will not be the same as CDA; I saw so many teammates on the course. There is only one other team member racing IMMD so it will feel very lonely on the course. I am going to have to dig deep to keep moving forward. I am going to have to remember all the words that my teammates have said to me the last 2 months. They want this for me as much as I want it so I am going to think of them when the course gets tough. I am also going to think about my family that will be there to watch me. It is a long day for them as well and I certainly do not want to come up short. My Mom said tonight “I am not coming to any more races so you better finish”. Ok that is some kind of motivation.

Quote for the week is exactly right on. It’s funny when I go look for my quotes I always end up on different web pages and no matter what the right one just shows up. It is the quickest part of my blog.

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”Margaret Thatcher

Week twenty-two. May 26-June 1, 2014-Getting better

This week started with a 3-hour run that I did not manage to get in last week because of the tenting.  It was Memorial Day and it was not easy to get up but I did and managed 12 miles so the week started off great.  I proceeded to get all my workouts in but I was worried about the weekend.  We had a 6 hour ride and although I had done one already I was still freaking but also excited to see what I could do.

This week I also got my test results that were done to try to figure out what was going on with my stomach. It was confirmed that the abuse I am putting on my body is taking a toll on my intestines. It is not what I wanted to hear but it is what it is. My friend Karen came up with a plan to get me through the race before we start real treatment after I am done. I am confident with this plan and I know this issue will not interfere with the race.

On Saturday we had a 1 hour 10 minute swim scheduled to be followed by a 2 hour and 30 minute run.  Joe from the team suggested we start at 5am for the run and follow it by the swim so we could get finished early.  I agreed although I hate getting up so early.  I know my teammates that are married and have kids are at a point where they need to do everything to keep peace at home.  It has been a long 6 months and I can only imagine the flack they are getting from their spouses and kids.  I am lucky I do not have to contend with that so I go along to support and well I like training with them.  I figured I would just go back to sleep when I get done.

We (Leo, Joe, Liz and Eduardo) took off on the run.  Eduardo took off like a jack rabbit as usual but the rest of us hung tight as a group.  We really did have the best time.  I will not go into the details of our conversations but just know it was worth getting up that early for the conversation.  We followed up with the swim.  Let me tell you that I now know why the swim is first.  My legs and actually my feet were cramping up the entire time.  Seriously, I never knew the bottom of my feet could cramp up.  But the water was cool and felt great so I kept swimming and managed 1.7 miles.  Really the best part was being done by 9:30am.  I had the entire day ahead of me.

We had all decided that we would meet up on Sunday and leave Joe’s house at 5am for our 6-hour ride and then our 1-hour run.  It’s a great place to start and ride south which is a very safe place to ride and we have plenty of options to add mileage.

The day was great.  I got some errand done and before I knew it the time had come to get to bed for another early wake up call.  At around 8:30 pm I get a text message telling me to look on our Facebook page where we got these messages from our coach:

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.28.19 PM Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.28.35 PM

Oh my, really.  First of all I was on my way to bed and second of all the nerve.  Well there was no way I was going to Shark Valley.  It is an hour drive and well you know how much I just love the alligators so off to Joe’s house I went.  We took it easy to Black Point Marina since it was dark and it had poured so the roads were wet.  I was a little freaked out that my brakes were not working but I powered through it.  After Black Point Joe slowed down to tell me about their route which was different than I what I usually take.  He mentioned that the last turn was not signed which worried me so we ended up deciding that they would go their way and Liz and I would go the way I knew and hook up at Starbucks to hit the bathroom and fill up on water. Before we took off Joe said to me, “just work on being in aero and do what you can do.  I know you can do this.”  I love him for his encouragement and how he makes sure I am ok.

I wanted to stay with the guys to see what I could do but I was scared of missing the turn so our decision was good.  I rode like a crazy person and basically rode in aero the entire time and to my surprise I got to Robert is Here 13 minutes faster than I have ever done before.  I was so excited.  I told Liz let’s just keep going and then head back since the guys would not be at Starbucks for another 30 minutes or so.  We ended up running into them, which was perfect.  At this point they decided we would head out to Everglades National park, which was 5 miles from Robert is Here.  I was like ok great we can add some mileage.  As we took the turn we ran into Derek and Elizabeth so they ended up joining us.  I was determined to draft behind them and keep up.  Well it only lasted for about 3 miles but I was happy because for those 3 miles I was riding in aero and at 20 MPH.   After that 10-mile loop we met up at Starbucks.  I knew I could not keep up so they went their way and Liz and I went my way and we met up at his house for the 1 hour run.

When I got back to his house I was like OMG I did an additional 17 miles since the last 6 hour ride just 3 weeks before.  I would say that is a huge improvement.  I was so happy that even though it was like a million degrees out and we were totally over heating on the run I was happy.  He are some of us after the run.  Eduardo is always out and back and misses the pictures.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.29.34 PM

Yes we were hot and sweaty but Joe’s pool was the perfect way to cool off afterwards.  Joe you really are the best for letting us crash your house.

When I got home I posted this and the encouragement I got was priceless.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.29.05 PM

This week I managed 90% of training time.  I am happy with this since Monday I was making up a workout from last week and is not included in this weeks stats.

▪   Planned workout duration:  15:40

▪   Actual workout duration: 14:10

What I learned this week is that sticking to the workouts is apparently working. I have been working super hard on the bike since it is my weakest sport and for the first time since January I do feel like I can actually do this.

What was reaffirmed this week is I have great teammates and friends. They have followed me through this journey and they are behind me 100%. I can’t thank them enough. I really do appreciate your patience and your encouragement. It has made this journey worthwhile.

What I have noticed this week is that I am missing some of my teammates that started the journey with me but have been missing the last few weeks.  Where are you Christy and Robert?  I miss you.

Quote for this week is mine and for the first time since I started I actually believe it.

I got this-Espe Suarez Kelly

Week twelve and thirteen. March 17-23, 2013, Uneventful and finally a recovery week

The weirdest thing happened in week 12.  I was plugging away at my workouts and by the end of the week it just seemed so normal to be riding for 4-1/2 hours and starting in the dark.  I didn’t think about it or stress about it I just did it.  When I got home it was like nothing.  It actually seemed so normal.  Never in a million years did I ever think that would happen.  It felt great.  So it was a pretty uneventful week, well except for the sea urchins from Saturday’s swim.  I stepped on 4 of those suckers on my way out.  Those little suckers hurt.

Week 13 is another story.  It was recovery week and I took full advantage.  A little too much but hey I was heading to St. Thomas to surprise Steve and to see some friends.  I had every intention of running hills and getting my swim in but I chose sleep.  I sleep so much better in a hotel.  Always have and I was in a very nice one so I just could not help myself.  But it was a great trip and I am not gonna feel guilty about it.  Here is what happened when I got to St. Thomas.


Step 1-10 minutes after arrival John buys me a beer


Step 2- Steve shows up for surprise and here is the beautiful sunset


Step 3-dinner with my new best friend and great adviser (Karen is a superstar runner and she is helping me with nutrition)


Step 4-celebrate Karen’s birthday (Colin, Karen, Kayden, John, Me, Steve)


So during my visit I got to talking to Steve about my bike and how everyone keeps telling me I need a Tri-bike.  He did some research and told me to go look for one.  He is crazy but this is what he wrote to me today.

Steve message

Gotta love Steve.

Today was swim and run test.  Swim was horrible I almost made it to Cuba I was so far off with my sighting.  But no sea urchins so that was good.  Then we took off for the run test.  It was kind of funny because I just took off and went for it.  I took off too fast but I later found out that Joe was pushing it and the last time he ran passed me he yells you are killing me.  I love that.  He was pushing to pass me which means he ran harder than he might have.  I am so glad I can push people that way.  It is a good feeling.  Here we are after the run.



My stats for these 2 weeks are not that good but it is ok.  I get to start all over again next week.

Week 12 I managed 81% of training time.

Planned workout duration: 17:00
Actual workout duration: 13:50

Week 13 I managed 75% of training time (this include what I need to do tomorrow).

Planned workout duration: 11:15
Actual workout duration: 8:30

What I learned these past 2 weeks is that I really can not travel during training.  If I get away from the people who push me I go back to being a lazy triathlete.  This realization comes at a time when I have just gotten a project that will have me travel.  I think I need to find a support system for those weeks that I need to travel.

Today’s quote is from my friend Tom Fiala.  He had a little setback this past weekend and he posted this on facebook today.  I think it is perfect for today.

A bend in the road is not the end of the road….Unless you fail to make the turn.



Week six. February 3-10, 2014 Recovery week

Recovery week is not really recovery at all.  It really is less hours but higher intensity.  We do some testing during this week so you really do push yourself.  It started out good but then I got the dreaded stomach virus that has been going around.  I was out and seriously could not leave the house.  Thursday’s swim was hilarious.  I could not keep up at all.  Coach Aaron was like did you eat breakfast?  I had but there was nothing in my system from Wednesday.  Three quarters into the work out I told Aaron i am done.  He said no just stay you already did most of the work and I am going to give you guys fins.  I can kick some but with the fins on so I stayed.  So we had to do 6-50’s.  I took off on the first one and when I got back to the wall Ralf says to me “did you put a rocket up you a$%”.  I laughed so hard because I get that every time I put my fins on.  It was a great way to finish that workout because I really did not think I was going to finish.

I normally weight train right after the swim but Andy cancelled on me since he was now sick so I ended up doing the run with Christy.  We had to do what we call strides and then hop, which strengthens the legs.  So when doing stride we count to 30 on each foot.  First one we take off.  When we got to the end Christy was like man you are fast.  I am fast but I am lazy so I mostly do not run fast although it certainly feels better when I do.  It was great to have finished these two works outs after feeling so horrible.

I started feeling better towards the end of the week and was able to make the 5k race which was a fundraiser for Chapman Partnership.  They “empower homeless men, women and children to build a positive future by providing the resources and assistance critical to growth and independence”.  We run this race becasue Even Reese, one or team mates, is on the board and we always support our team mates charities.

The race was at the zoo and these sort of races usually are hard to do your best but I have no idea what happened but I raced my best 5k ever and ended up 5th in my age group.  I am normally way into the middle.

Just because we raced did not mean we could skip our work outs.  Saturday was an hour run and a 40 minute open water swim.  We were testing and had specific things we had to do.  Our 5k race time was the results for the run test and for the swim we needed to time 1000 meters.  Coach told us to run for 30 to warm up before the race and then swim after the race.  So that’s what we did.  The swim was interesting.  The ocean was full of man o war so we were told to go swim in a pool.  Long story short we ended up at LA Fitness pool.  Heater was broken and we had to wait for a lane.  So it was cold and we were tired and hungry.  Not looking good at all.  We finally got in but we did not test.  This pool was not the ideal place for that.  Really it was good that we got the 40 minutes in.

Sunday’s ride was even funnier.  It was a little cold so I took my brand new wind breaker.  It was a little (well a lot) big and that is not good in heavy winds.  It was like a parachute and it made it super hard to keep up but my team mates were great.  They pushed me the entire way.  Even Joe who had just finished Ragnar (the 200 mile relay race from Miami to key West).  Yeah that was pretty impressive to see him show up at 7am sharp.  We turned around at a Starbuck where we stopped to use the bathroom and Leo decided to get a shot of espresso.  There were some other Ragnar vans there and they overheard us talking about the race.  They came out and were shocked that Joe was riding with us.  But hey that is how an IronAlien rolls.  Word of advice to all Aliens.  Do not let Leo have an espresso on the ride.  He took off like he had a rocket up his well you know what.

This week I only made 80% of my workouts.

  • Planned workout duration:  10:25
  • Actual workout duration: 8:25

Best part of the week was Friday.  REST DAY.  Some people got up to ride.  No way I will ever miss a rest day.

Today’s quote is all about not stopping to get the workouts in.  This is for Christy who kept us going on Saturday and made me do the swim.

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” – Jimmy Johnson

Day 334-336. November 30-December 2, 2013-Moving right along

So I realized today that the days weren’t adding up.  Somewhere along the line I missed some days or mixed them up so that is the reason for the jump in days since my last post.  Anyway today is really day 336 which means only 29 days left in my 365 days of to dos.

Since Thanksgiving is now over it was time to decorate for Christmas.  Easy right?  Well not at my house.  I had to move furniture around and needed to find a way to get a couch to my mother’s house since it was taking up too much space at my house.  So I put out a message on Facebook and my cousin offered to help.  

Once the furniture was moved it was time to hit the shed to pull out the decorations.  I started with the tree.  OMG it was horrible.  The thing was full of roaches.  Freaked me out.  So I left it on the back porch over night so the roached would leave.  The next day I took out a few containers to start decorating and really all I ended up with is lights and the big santa and my village houses.  That is all that is getting set up until Steve gets home because I am not going back in the shed.

So that was the decorating portion (which I haven’t finished but it is a good start).  I then sat down and started writing.  I am updating some stuff and last week I lost the file and basically had to start over.  I wrote like a crazy person and on Saturday was up until 4am working.  I got so much done it was great.  Funny part was that I ended up finding the original file after I was finished.  So yesterday I combined the work from both to get a really good write up.

Sunday was spent cleaning and then off to Sunday Funday with my friend Sue.  She is not drinking this week because she has a full marathon on Sunday so we decided to leave our bubble since she was driving.  It was nice getting out of the neighborhood. Plus the Dolphins won.

Today was all about getting back to my online course.  I pretty much spend the entire day doing that until my cousin was headed over to help me move the couch.  I decided I would take my dog out for a quick walk.  I grabbed my phone and headed out.  As soon as I slammed the door I thought oh crap I don’t have keys.  Thank God I had my phone.  I called Marta to tell what happened and we decided that we would go to my Mom’s and get my key.  As soon as I hung up I was like well how will I get in her house.  My keys are inside.  I then started calling people.  I have keys at several friend’s houses.  Of course no one was home and they were not 100% sure they had keys anymore.  In the end my friend Cindy got home the fastest and she did have the key so were able to get the couch moved.  My other friend Aida also confirmed that she had a key so at least I know who has keys.

What I learned the last three days is:

  • having to write things a second time usually ends up better
  • I need a new shed
  • I have great family and friends
  • my house looks so much better without that couch
  • I love my on line course and so glad I finally got back to it
  • 29 days is not a lot of time to get everything done

Day 259-278. September 19-October 8, 2013-So much time so much fun

It is obvious that I have been out of touch for a while.  The last 20 days have flown by.  Crazy how time flies when you are having fun.  So here is the run down of what I have been up to:

More volunteering at Lake Tahoe Ironman

  • Sign making tent which was funny because it was so windy that everything kept flying away.  It was fun watching the kids make signs for their parents.  I even got to meet some of my volunteers for T2 (transition between bike and run) gear bags.
  • Banquet which was supposed to be helping athletes settle in and some clean up duties but turned out to be handing out the tickets to those who purchased on line.  A lot of people came in wanting to buy tickets but it was all sold out.  There were some upset people but the ones who waited around ended up getting in because other people in line found out that it was sold out and came up with extra tickets and sold them to the people waiting.  The banquet was well a banquet and the food was not bad considering it was in a tent.  The best part was listening to one of the original Ironman participants.  There was 12 of them and this guy came in 11 out of the 12.  He was funny.  Talked about how he bought a bike the day before the race.  Crazy to think that he did not train for the bike ride at all.
  • Bike check in which consisted of me grabbing the bikes and getting them ready for the photographer to take a picture.  I had to make sure the pedal was all the way down which meant about 600 squats.  This was all fun until the storm came in and it started raining.  On the way back to my sister’s it was snowing.
  • Then the big day.  I was captain of gear bags for T2.  My mom and sister also came to volunteer.  Overall it was a fun thing to do.  I got to see my team mates as they finished the bike (which was grueling).  They were both happy to see me and Andy(my coach and my Mom’s personal trainer) was so happy to see my Mom.  She was so excited to had him his bag.  The one thing that I was not expecting was seeing athletes break down because they missed the bike cut off time.  There were about 15 athletes that missed it by less than 5 minutes.  They were all sobbing uncontrollably.  I saw this one girl all alone and I asked her if she needed a hug and she said yes.  I stayed with her for awhile.  She was so disappointed in herself.  She said she missed it by 2 minutes.  I cried for her.  I told her not to be disappointed in herself but only at the result.  That bike ride was brutal and it was really cold.  In the end I managed to make her laugh but It was heart wrenching to watch.  The worst part is that they all looked like the run would have been fine.
  • After T2 I headed to the finish line to give out medals.  The finish line was a great place to be.  Watching the athletes coming in was inspiring.  I stayed there until my team mates came in.  It was great.

Photos from volunteering


More site seeing

The next few days was spent site seeing with my mom and sister.  We did a little shopping as well.  It was a lot of fun.


I then headed to Augusta for my half ironman.  It was cold in the morning which I was not expecting and because I was cold I was really tight and that did not help my pinch nerve.  When I got out of the water my entire right side was locked up.  I wasn’t sure if I would continue.  Given that I am stubborn as mule I decided to get on the bike and see what would happen.  The bike was fun.  I just took in the scenery and enjoyed the hills and all the go Miami and Go alien and go Espe comments as people passed me by.  Once I finished the bike I knew I was good to go.  It was great to see Steve at mile 10.5.  He had a beer and I just grabbed it and chugged what was left.  I then took Ralph’s beer as well then I was off.  Apparently Ralph was shocked that I would drink the beer.  I mean really it was my slowest time ever in a race so what the hell.  At this point it was all about having fun and fun I had.  After the race it was back to the hotel for a shower, packing up the bike and food and drinks with the group.  A good night.

Steve and I flew back home and we had one day to wash clothes before heading to Montreal.  I had a couple of meetings on Tuesday.  The second meeting was at my high maintenance client construction site.  I could not have asked for a better reaction to me finishing a half ironman.  As soon as I walked in he says “how could a girl that drinks so much wine finish and ironman”.  I laughed and said this is how and showed him this picture.  He could not stop shaking his head.  It was classic.


The next day we took off to Montreal.  Wow what a great city.  We were only there for 4 days but did a lot of site seeing by foot and by bike.  What a great bike friendly city.  I always love being in a city.  I always come home inspired by it.  Here are a few photos.


What I learned these past few weeks is that I need to be in a different location.  I love the outdoor activities that I experienced in Reno/Tahoe and Montreal.   I love the change of seasons.  I love the different landscapes.  I have always needed to have access to the outdoors.  I once gave up a great apartment because it had no balcony.  I know Miami has a lot of great outdoor spaces but really we only get a few months of good weather to enjoy them.   As I write this its raining as usual.

Dat 243-250. September 1-9, 2013-This is getting very hard to do

As I fill my days with more things to do I am finding it very difficult to keep my resolution of getting something major done each day and blog about it.  I still have 115 days to go.  It is time to regroup.  I need to cut some of my activities in order to do that.  Funny thing is that as soon as I decided to do that I ended up with more things on my plate than should be there.

I have so much to do and it seems I am just avoiding some of them.  Now I have 2 days to get everything done and I added an appointment for Wednesday afternoon that will pretty much kill my day since it is at 2pm and about an hour north of where I need to be.  I think I better reschedule that.

So what did I do the last 8 days.

Well I catered a dinner party for my sister and her friends who were celebrating one of the girl’s new job.  That pretty much took up my whole day because of course I went crazy and made some really good stuff but it was all time consuming but delicious.  Totally worth it.  The girls were trying to convince me to do it for a living.  They were all willing to find me clients.


Prosciutto and gouda flatbreads topped with red onion and honey


Skinny chicken salad bites


Tea smoked chicken, black rice and vegetable medley


Peaches in green tea topped with organic vanilla bean ice cream


The group

I rode on the computrainer for 3 hours.  That is an accomplishment in itself as it can get boring but very much needed since it is the only way to simulate hills in Miami.  We actually rode the Augusta half ironman course.  Then I went to a birthday party.

I did some more classwork but not nearly as much as I should have.

I slept way too much.  I got into the worst routine which started by taking a nap after my morning workouts.  Then I would start my day around 12 then stay up until 1 or 2am.  Very bad situation.  No wonder I did not get anything done.

Had a free Funday Sunday with my friend Sue.  That’s what we do during football season.  As usual we had fun.

Gave my dog a bath.

Gave Steve’s car a bath.

Had a breakthrough with my swimming.  I am not a bad swimmer but my coach had us counting strokes and breathing on each stroke and for the first time I actually felt myself propel through the water.  Sort of freaked me out because it felt fast.  But it was fun.

What I learned the past few days is that I really need a full time job.  I have too much time on my hands and it gets me in trouble.  I now know that I do need some structure and accountability to keep focused.

Day 182. July 3, 2013

I am always amazed how certain things pop-up or happen once you speak an intent.  Talking about getting out of my comfort zone and I find this article on Lifehacker.  I haven’t been to this website in at least 2 months.  Pretty cool article.  Here is the link.  Enjoy and try some of the suggestions.  It can not hurt.


I just wanted to share the article but today’s task was getting together with an old friend from high school Mary Carrigan Barbuto.  She comes to Miami about 5-6 times a year but we never get to see each other.  Once again it was  a perfect time to meet because I mentioned how I want to take some writing courses and she was full of information.  I was struggling on the internet today trying to find a course.  She is already writing and knows what I need to know.  So I am super excited to get started.  On the flip side she was talking about starting to scan old photographs.  I was like I just sent 2000 photos to India to get scanned.  They should be on the way back soon.  Anthony was like that is what you should do so I gave her the information.  I swear I ended up getting an email that said my stuff was shipped.  I could not believe as I was just telling her how great they were about letting you know what was happening with the order.  By the way the place is called scancafe.com.

We met her and Anthony for dinner and its the first time we met each other husbands.  So funny they (the husbands) are so much alike.  It was awesome.

What I learned today is that you will meet with the people you need to at the exact time they can help you especially if you express to the universe what you are up to.  Today was an incredible day of surprises all because I expressed I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and I want to learn to write.  Day 2 of the 2nd part of the year was so awesome.