Saturday, March 1, 2014

Let's try this again

I have not posted in a while. I haven't been truly happy. Set back after set back.

If I hear "you just need to get out of sales and find something that is better for you" I am going to fucking kick you.  :)  But please don't take it personally. I am just frustrated because I know that!

Last year during unemployment I spent several hours doing volunteer work because Exercise Physiology was what I was going to do. I got my ACLS, CPR and did hours at the Cardiac Rehab center at South Austin hospital. I was so fine with putting in some grunt work for free. I did enjoy talking to the patients and find out why they were there. I learned a lot about how people eat and don't work out ( outside my world of triathlons and marathons ) and wow. I was also training for Ironman. Thank god for that. It kept me social and happy for a while.

Set back:
As I spoke to more Exercise Physiologists and other hospitals the more I was finding out there is not much need...even though I thought there would be.
I would go back to school and spend thousands of dollars to find there is no opportunity....and be in debt. I was getting mixed messages of I only need my ACSM ( since I have my Bachelor's in Kinesiology) or I need to get a Master's or I need to go to Nursing School! It was all over the place and was not feeling right.

I continue to look. I am in sales until then. I have to pay the bills and this is my "skill" for now...even though I am not really into it. I am not as aggressive and pushy in my job as I used to be. I have become more compassionate and that doesn't work in sales. Not really.

I think I found it! PTA. Physical Therapy Assistant. I could go to school for that! I am going to an information session regarding school. I know there is about a year of prerequisites. I will hold on to this sales job as best I can stomach it and take night classes or online courses. Whatever they offer.

I would love this. It will be a rough two years and I realize that. Two years. I can do that. I really hope this session goes well.

I just wanted to blog again because I felt like I needed to post an update and share. It is tough going through this as a single mom to 2 dogs...I don't know how single moms to kids and dogs do it. I bow down to you.

I am scared as hell and have been for a long time.

So send good vibes my way and please support me and understand if I am not around. I am really just trying to figure it out and I tend to hibernate when I in this type of place.

Thank goodness for marathons and half marathons! At least I get out about with that in my life!! :) I love that part of my life. I just need to get the career aspect figured out.

How long have I been going through this? Ugh.

Thank you for reading!

Monday, May 20, 2013

IMTX 2013

IMTX 2013 Race Report

First I want to say thank you so much for those who supported me all weekend; even the ones that could not be there. You constantly text, messaged or called to check in on me throughout the process. I can not put into words how much I appreciate you.

This was a big weekend. As some of you know things have been a little rocky for me and this weekend was something I needed. (Yes, I can be a little needy). You showed me how much you wanted me to succeed and how much you believed in me. For that I will forever be grateful. Yada yada.  J 

I knew going into this race that it would be a hot one. Training prepared me for the distance but not the 94 degree heat and humidity. I don’t know how people not from Texas did it. When I did this race in 2011 at least we had cloud cover. This was brutal. As I process what happened to me during this day I remind myself how lucky I am to be able to participate in such an event. I feel frustration and complete happiness all at the same time.

Check In on Thursday and Friday:

I got to the Woodlands and made sure to eat before check in. The line is always long and I get distracted easily. I knew if I didn’t eat first bad things would happen. I was not nervous until my name was checked off and the wristband was secured.

This is happening.

Carrie, Padre, Holly, Dionn, Michelle, Dayna, Rhonda, Joey, Chad and Collier were all there checking in too. We took our d bag tri pictures, protected each other from spending money in the village, got our $600 backpacks and headed out to rest before the athlete din din. We were happy, excited and ready to race! Got to see Chris, Kevin, Scott, Rosita, and Mike at the dinner. A few of us left early. We needed wine. We sat outside by the canal, relaxing and taking it in.

Bike and Run/ Bike bag check in was on Friday. That in itself is stressful. Too much shit to pack. I went back to my cousin’s house (thank you Mendy and David for letting me stay there!) to hibernate and rest for the race on Saturday.


Breakfast at 4 am sucks. I am nervous and not hungry so throwing down 500 plus calories is rough. I probably got down half of what I needed. English muffins, peanut butter and banana.

Talie and Shannon drove me to transition to drop off my bike nutrition at around 5:30 am. Always chaotic with the rush of people trying to get in and out of there in time to get to the swim start a mile away. I stopped at the potty before heading back to the car. The man in the potty next to me yelled, “MI AMORE! ES MUY GRANDE!” Gotta say, I was a little jealous. (In case you are lost he was thrilled with his big poo poo).
I was on my way back to the car and ran into Lisa, Catherine, Mel, Nancy, Dylan, Jenny. Who did I miss?


We drove to the swim start and immediately found everyone. Add Leslie who I didn’t get to see the day before. Fist pump and hug. Love her. The only one I didn’t get to see was Holly.  Ok, gotta make our way to the water. One big hug to Joey and the tears started flowing during the anthem. This was about to begin.

We all separate to get in the water to start for the day ahead. I tread water for about 5 minutes, let a couple of nervous people talk to me (I am very quiet before a race), move around to a better spot, then the gun went off.

As expected BRUTAL. I kept reminding myself just deal with this and try to remain calm. This cluster of kicking, scratching, hitting and swallowing water will be over in a few minutes.
Ahhh. Ok. Made it about 800 yards and finally had room to actually swim. My goggle were still on, no water was leaking in…I will finish the swim. My head was hurting so bad from my tight goggles. Ignore it! The swim stayed choppy the whole time but at least the washing machine was over….until the canal. The last 1200 meters was worse than the first! This time add wetsuit people (who started 10 minutes later and caught up) and a very small section to swim in. It was pure hell for me. I tried to pee in Amy’s speed suit but couldn’t. I had to go but there was just too much chaos. My watch got stuck on some big dude’s wetsuit. I punched his back to get my watch off. I was annoyed at his wetsuit. No offense to Joey and Chris but the wetsuits made me angry. J
One cool thing is you hear the spectators cheering on the sides so loudly! You feel like you are finishing for 1200 meters. 1:34 swim time. It was two minutes slower than 2011 and I had been training for a 1:30 swim. Ok. Fine. It was a rough swim and I made it out alive. Move on and make the bike rock! Don’t transfer any negative energy! Got into transition, peed and was on my way. No volunteer help this time. I didn’t need it since I wasn’t changing…just adding my tri top.


Tailwind and not too hot at 9 am. The first 50 miles were oh so delightful. The course is pretty where the rollers are and I was maintaining a great speed with a perfect heart rate.

 In comes mile 60. Chip seal and headwind. The heat showed up and temps at 94 degrees with not a cloud in the sky sound great if you are lying by the pool. Not so much on a bike on farm to market roads. I drank water and popped thermolytes like they were M&M’s. If you know how much I love M&M’s that was a lot of thermolytes. I even had electrolytes in my Pure Sport that was in my nutrition. I stayed on top of my nutrition and added some calories from the extra food I packed.

The volunteers were AWESOME at the water hand ups and I refilled my aerobottle at every stop…without stopping. J

A cat ran in front of us at one point and the guy in front of me almost hit him. The cat ended up running into a truck going the opposite direction. Yup. This happened right in front of me. In a fucking triathlon. Of all people to have to see that. Ok, shake it off.

Mile 80, pow! Flat tire. I started messing with it then luckily a tech drove up to help me. She was an angel! She took over and I stood there and ate my payday bar and peed. Yep. Just stood there and ate and peed. She sent me on my way.

Mile 90 -112. My legs seized with cramps like I had NEVER experienced before. I couldn’t pedal at times and had to unclip to release the cramp. If I added any tension to my gears they would cramp up again. I was taking in so many electrolytes that I started getting bloated and drank so much water that I don’t know what else I could do. I was upset. Was this going to bring me down? Will I be able to even walk? The last 10 miles were forever. God love the volunteers but don’t say 5 more miles when we actually have 10 more miles to go. It was like Groundhog Day. I didn’t want to look at my Cateye or Garmin.

Finally got to dismount and wondered what my legs were going to do. I left my bike with the volunteer and limped into transition. I saw Catherine who was talking me down off my panic and Rosita who got my bag, hugged me and sent me into the tent. Kathleen! She took me, dumped my bag, helped me change from my pee bike shorts to run shorts ( gross), put on my race belt, listen to me cry, rally, cry and rally, sprayed me with sunscreen and sent me on my way. The bike took me 45 minutes more than I trained for. 7:45. Sucked and I was not happy.

My legs cooperated as long as I walked. I was so frustrated! Running was going to be my moment and the fucking bike took that away. I had to change my attitude fast. Now it was take it all in, stay alive, keep your heart rate in a good place and visualize the finish. Just finish.

I saw T3 peeps, Nancy, Jane, Jennifer and Charles and tried to keep it together. Got a big ole pat on the butt from Nancy and that made me smile. Got to Kendall and it was great to see him. Booher! We stayed together for about 3 or 6 miles. I have no idea.

I started to get a little pep in my step at times so I would run when I could. Saw Bekah at the Texas Iron tent. Great little pep talk. Just when you have had it you get to the canal. FOMO yelling from across the water! YAY!!!!  I hear Tiny Bunny and cried again!  But this time it was a happy cry. I knew it was about a mile till I got to them.

Mel, Catherine, Lisa, Dylan, Jenny, Natalie, Shannon, Vegas, Kathleen, Rosita, Katy, Calvin, Ann, Maggie, Tim, Rachel, Heather, Kim and Christine.. and oh my god the bridge where Del, Kevin and Meredith were at. Those gay boys were dancing like they were at Rain! So much support and energy! I know I forgot someone.

I got around the canal and back to the quiet area where I would throw up once. I drank water at every stop and it was hard to stomach GU. I tried pretzels but couldn’t chew. I made myself down the GU because I needed those calories. Drank broth and downed a little pickle juice. I heard ambulances every ten minutes and just told myself to take it easy and make it in. I kept passing people passed out at the water stops. It was a fight to the finish.

The finish line:
I was never happier this whole race…except for when I passed my friends. Mike Reilly yelled my name and an amazing volunteer took me and stayed with me until she was comfortable that I was good on my own. She got me water, my shirt, hat, medal and made me get my picture taken. I really didn’t care. I didn’t even look to see what my time was. I don’t want to end this report on a negative. I was way short of the goal I trained hard for but I finished. I am happy with that. Thank you again so much for those who supported me all weekend. I don’t know if I could have done it without you and I have your back when it is your turn.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

One Month

It has been a month since I decided to move on from medical sales and into a new career. Although the temptation to interview for sales positions have been there I am holding strong to my committment to "moving on".

Making this change is super scary...not so much because of the work I am putting in to get there, but it is the fear of the unknown. I think that is why I have always had the same habits. I know where this is going. It doesn't make the process any easier but there are no surprises. ( stands true for relationships too).

Here is where I am. I have been getting in my exercise physiology hours at the cardiac rehab center at South Austin hospital. I go everyday as if it is my job. I am scheduled to take my BLS and ACLS certifications in two weeks. After that I will be considered for a part time position at an exercise physiologist. I really hope that works out as I study for my ACSM certification and within a year I hope to become a full time exercise physiologist in cardiac rehab.

The center is growing and this would be an absolute AWESOME time to get in. I enjoy educating and getting to know the lifestyles of the patients that have been prescribed cardiac rehab from there heart surgeon. It is amazing to me how some have never been on a treadmill in their life. These people are grateful. They are grateful to be alive and really appreciate the rehabiliation process and those that support them through it.

It is sooooo hard to stop the head trash and reminder that I am not getting paid as I do these hours. I  stop those thoughts and remember this is all for a goal. I will keep it up. I am on the right track.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ok I am listening!

Ok, what!?

For years I have been in outside medical sales. In 1998 I met this lady, running of all things ( I didn't run at the time but thought I would give it a go) and we started chatting. Well, I started running with her and we started chatting. Her name was Shirley Leonard. I didn't even have to look that up.

She convinced me to leave corporate wellness (where I excelled but made shit money) and offered me an almost triple raise in salary to go into pharma sales. From there I went on into diagnostic sales, surgical sales, dental implant sales, and lab sales. See a pattern? I do.

I am good at sales but it isn't me. I want to help people...not bullshit them into thinking I want to help them. I really want to help them. But you don't make money doing that. I made myself truly believe in everything I sold so I wouldn't feel like I was a salesperson. I consulted surgeons, hospitals and offices into buying what I sold. Somewhere down the line I lost my edge. The flirting and ass kissing makes me sick. But again, I made a good living.

I have gone from making 90K to a salary on unemployment.

Before your head's start turning with ....oh my gosh! You should totally work with dogs!...I don't want to do that. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE animals but that is my "hobby" and those are my children. Not what I want to do for a living.

I was recently approached by the new director at South Austin Cardiac Rehab where I was doing my volunteer ( clinical ) hours previously to be an Exercise Physiologist. I was not getting the hands on opportunities I thought I would so I stopped going and continued in sales. The new director assured me I would get to be more hands on with some training if I would like to come back and continue getting my hours.

So now I need to go full steam ahead, change careers and make the next 40-60 years of my life fullfilled both professionally and personally. I have a lot to work on in both areas and I am finally getting to a point that I know I need to get it together. I am not sure yet what it is that I want but I feel like I am getting closer. The fact that I am open to change is a step. FOMO ( in this case - foward motion). Most of all I think I am becoming more aware of what I DON'T want.

How am I not depressed? I think what made me a good "sales person" is my ability to not look like there is anything wrong. I am a little sad but not depressed. I refuse to let that happen. Get up, take care of my responsibility to my dogs, my health and my head and it will all work out right?

I am not sad or depressed....just scared. There. I admit it. Here we go. Yikes.

Monday, May 23, 2011


A year ago I remember frantically sitting by my computer ready to hit register for the first Ironman in Texas. I had to do it. My home state. My humid as hell home state.

Drove up with Maggie as we raised the roof to Dynamite, Usher, and Pitbull. We got lost then met Kathleen for lunch. SCARF! Hungry bunnies.

Check in line was loooooong but I did not mind it too much. Got to talk to people in line and look for cute boys. Finally got our bike, run, morning, and two special needs bags, cap, chip and whatever else was in that bag. Blah blah, we got dinner too and did our bags and went to bed.

Friday - Dad came by and helped Maggie and me with our bags while we rode our bikes to check em in. That was so helpful! I was so excited my Dad was going to see this event and meet my amazing Austin family. FOMO team picture was next then naptime!

I went by to Carrie's hotel to get my fake fomo tats, talked to some cute North Carolina boys then like angels Mel, Katy and Jane Bui appeared! Holy crap I cried I was so happy to see them.

Went to get sushi then the next batch of sherpas appeared...Becca, Denise and Shannon! Whaaaaa!! I was so happy!

That night before. Ugh. Are we really doing an Ironman tomorrow?! Sleep, how is Peenut? Sleep, Is my GPS charging? Sleep, I hope Talie is doing ok with the girls, Sleep, I have to get up to pee. That was essentially my night's sleep.

We got up around 4 am got ready, tried to get down some calories and Becca, Denise and Shannon ( the most fun sherpas in the world) drove us to transitition to set up our bike nutrition then took us to the swim start a mile away. SUCKERS that are walking! HA! We were walking from the car to the start of the swim and OMG! we ran right into Barbara and Dad! Could not have been better timing. I got the tightest hug from my Dad and man did I need that. Everything was right in the world at that point. I had my friends and got to see Dad and Barbara. Let's do this.

Mass swim start: MEN EVERYWHERE! Where are all the single ladeeez? Oh there were about 25% women in this whole race....and they kicked ass! I got in the middle because Katy Dooley said you want to be in the vortex. So I got my butt to the vortex and Gun shot! Off we go! Kick, punch, scratch ( cut your damn toenails and fingernails d bags!). Finally got a nice open spot to swim and made it though! Except one more kick in the throat for old times sake. The guy actually said sorry! The last turn was through a canal that felt like FOREVER! I kept looking with my alligator eyes ( thank you Becca McCann for helping me with that during training) and never saw the finish. Just keep swimming foward. Eventually you will get there. Yay done! I seen I think Vicky and I saw Catherine and Al the Monkey for sure. Oh, I swam in my bathing suit. No wetsuit and no speedsuit. I was happy with my time. 1:32.

A volunteer was immediately available to me. She was great! We got off my bathing suit and got on my tri shorts, bra and favorite FOMO tri top with the cool wings Kathleen had lent me all training and for the race. Got my helmet, shoes and gloves on and out I go! I had to pee so bad. As I mounted my bike I saw Katy, Mel, Jane, Shannon and I know Becca and Denise were there but I don't think I looked that direction...and they were on the side I was mounting my bike on! Grrrr. Missed em! I think Katy was crying because she couldn't believe I swam so well. :) Seriously 1:32 for me is GRRRRReat!

The Bike: I was really happy to be done with the swim even though I felt pretty darn good. This was an awesome ride. It was hard, I was tired and I am not fast but the course was actually pretty awesome. Just a few chip n seal areas but most of the roads were like butta. The hills were perfect. Rollers. Cloud cover the whole ride! Holy crap were we lucky. It was 90 degrees and 100% humidity but if that sun had come out I am not sure what would have happened. I got really bloated in the second hour. I took a tums because I thought my tummy was feeling wierd and that may have upset it more. So I just took water for about an hour with little nutrition so my tummy would go down. It did after about an hour. Very uncomfortable. I felt some wind but again, we were so lucky! It was not near as bad as the rides we had in training. There was also a 50% chance of rain. Not a drop! So So lucky! I just thought rest stop to rest stop. Could not think 112 miles. 10 miles was doable. When I hit 80 I figured that is a great indication that I will be finishing the Ironman. I felt pretty good but was ready to be done. That last 12 miles took forever!! I think because I saw this HEB and I thought it was the one close to the transition area. It wasn't. So mentally I was like where the heck are we? Just keep moving forward. I love being a part of FOMO because believe it or not, saying forward motion, just keep moving forward kept me thinking I am getting closer and closer. Dismount!! Volunteer took my bike and shockingly this time I didn't want to throw it at her like I did at CdA. I was like here ya go kind lady and thank you. I don't hate my bike right now. I don't want to ride anytime soon but I don't hate it. That aluminum road bike has been very good to me and I love it. I do want a tri bike one day though. I digress. I did my bike in 7:23 I think.

The run/walk to the tent was far to walk/run in bike shoes. I didn't really want help this time because I had ....well, I didn't stop on the bike to pee so ....ya know. I prefered to just change myself this time. I had plastic bags for all my dirty bike clothes and aaaaaah nice clean running shorts. After I got everything on, including belt, socks, shoes, FOMO ice holder hat and running shorts I was out the door. I did pee in the porto potty this time. It took a while until I saw my people. I couldn't wait! Dina, Tammy, Karen, Nancy, Vicky, Catherine, Al the monkey, Kelly Knight , Kim Evans, Courtney, Lindsor, Stephanie, Eric C, Tim tim, Chel, Bekah, Mel, Becca, Shannon, Denise, Katy, Jane Bui, Cindy, Michelle L. , Charles, Phil, Amit, Mike P., Roman, Kelly G.,...Gosh, did I forget someone.? I love how they made themselves spread out enough to cover the lonely parts of the run. I did a run/walk...mostly walk. Kinda sad about that because running is my favorite part but my tummy wasn't having it. So I did the marathon in under 6 hours. I was having a great last loop because I hooked up with a really nice guy named Armando. We were gonna finish this beast together. He showed me a picture of his sweet 3 year old daughter who was waiting for him at the finish. He gave me a piece of gum and really great conversation.

The finish chute: The finish was completely different for me from CdA. It was crowded with people. I took time to look at everyone and take it all in. There was a spotlight. It was so exciting. I heard my name this time saying I am an Ironman and had my family : Dad, Mom, Babara and Seester waiting for me! It was something I was so excited about and visualizing that moment all through training. Charles Morton I think literally caught after I crossed. Big ole hug and got me my small shirt! ( last time I got an oversized finisher shirt for CdA). This one fits! Got my hat and medal and headed over to my family to share the big smile I had on my face. Then we walked over to my FOMO family and watched the amazing Maggie come in! I am so happy we got to do a race together!!

It was awesome rooming with fun gals Maggie, Lindsey Ginko, and Mallory. We had some great laughs! Training and racing with Kathleen, Oscar, Vegas, Rhonda, Pam, Shawn, Carrie, Michael, Chris, Kevin, Cynthia, Peaches, and Mary( and Mel even though she was not racing, she trained like she was!) I had one really bad ride and bad run ( the run was bad because my ride was bad). All of our rides were really hard. The wind was brutal every single time. But we did it. And we all finished. One more is not out of the question. Thank you for the memory!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010


So I never really thought I would have one puppy much less two. Peenelope came into my life and god I have never felt so much love for an animal, except for when I had Jagermeister and now Peenut. Then I got really involved with rescue organizations, donated time and money and ultimately fostered.

I should have known. I fell in love with Georgia the second I saw her and thought I will just foster her. I marketed her the best I could but fell more and more attached to her and I am pretty sure she became attached to me and Peenelope.

I got tired of trying to give her away. The guilt and thought of that little face driving away killed me.

The thing I didn't think about is that Peenelope is not 100% yet. She still has issues from being scared of everything and does not have a very high self confidence. I needed that to be under control before committing to another puppy who also needs recall training.

It is really hard.

I don't really trust dog parks because dogs are dogs. I have many friends with dogs but it isn't often we can all meet up at a place that is available just for our dogs to play. Perfect situation.

Letting your dogs run around dog parks with other dogs just so you can get them tired is not the right thing to do. I feel like it is so important for my dogs to have most of their interaction with me.

So I am taking a lot more time to work with them individually. I have to take Peenelope for rides in the car so she won't be scared. I need to take her to positive places like getting her a happy meal at Mcdonalds. That is kinda cute.

I have to make sure Georgia has her fun in the water because Peenelope doesn't like the water.

They are buddies. They love each other but are very different in personalities. Georgia love thunderstorms and Peenelope will freak out if you even say the word thunderstorm.

They both love Peenut.

Just trying to get them all good before IM training begins. I totally think I bit off more than I could chew with keeping Georgia but my heavy heart just couldn't let her go.


My life will be about work and my puppies until IM training begins. Then my life will be about work, my puppies and Ironman. Won't have much more time and money to do anything else.

I went from nothing to do to not having enough time do everything. I kinda like it but would like to sit and finish a book at some point.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

If it makes you happy...

Today I was standing with a total stranger who introduced himself to me as Richard. We had been standing there together for about 10 minutes just laughing before we finally exchanged names. Laughing together as if we have been good friends. We were laughing because our dogs were having a blast chasing each other, wagging their tails and getting completely filthy!

I am writing about this because on several occasions this has happened. I find myself standing with total strangers laughing. Smiling, laughing and being completely selfless. I am in a comfort zone that is hard to describe. I guess I can call it a "happy place".

I have had one of the worst years of my life and being able to laugh like that just about everyday has gotten me through. This is not to say that my amazing friends that I have met through triathlon haven't done the same. Just in a diferent way. We laugh as well but the joy I have watching my puppy so happy makes me feel like I have done something good that is not about me. This dog depends on me 100 percent. I could be at my most down and depressed but I HAVE to take Peenelope to the park. It is not her fault I am in the position I am in. She deserves a good day. Seeing her have a good day totally changes my bad day around.

I come home with a sense of purpose and it forces me to remain social when I tend to go into hibernation.

Peenut appreciates it too.