Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Start your swim training early!

As I started out on this new triathlon journey I was given a piece of sound advice regarding triathlon training, advice that remains the best so far……….“start your swim training early”. I knew there were a few things I needed to be successful in a tri but first and foremost a swim coach was in order. I knew how to swim if I was put in a situation that required swim & live or don’t swim & deal with the repercussions. However, I didn’t know how to swim laps or swim competitively, so I searched the globe and found Katie at the YMCA who has become my life line to swimming. The first time I got in the pool to swim I looked like a giraffe trying to swim laps. This land dwelling girl found swimming to be very unnatural. I don’t know how many times I told Katie, “when I bike and run I can breathe whenever I want, but this swimming thing makes breathing a real challenge”. As a bit of comic relief on this balmy 115 degree day I have a video to share with you, I hope you get as many laughs as I did.
Video Coming Soon
As you can see and as I quickly discovered I needed to kick up the lessons and practice because there was a real possibility once I got out into the open water of Hayburn Lake for the swimming portion of the triathlon I might drown. I have been in lessons for 12 weeks now and think I have made some progress. I would still be smoked if Michael Phelps and I raced, but as I think about it anyone that races against an athlete so rare seems to come up a few strokes too short.
Video Coming Soon
Over the next few days I will share techniques I have learned, challenges I have faced, failures I have endured and triumphs that keep me going back to the pool week after week & day after day. In the mean time here is a small checklist of items that you may want to add to your training arsenal if you haven’t already.
Swim Coach: For any of you that are thinking about doing a triathlon non-competitively a swim coach may not be a necessity but certainly a great addition if you are not a solid swimmer.
Good Pair of Goggles: There are many, too many in my opinion, goggle choices out there. Different color bands, different color lenses, different brands, different shapes. Amongst all the differences the main thing you are looking for is fit, comfort, tint (this will help you with glare in open water swims) and NOT leaky. There is nothing worse than a leaky pair of goggles, trust me I am currently dealing with a pair right now. I have been told the best way to pick out goggles is by putting them on without the strap. The goggles should suction to your face, if they don’t then that pair does not fit the contouring of your face and you need to try on the next pair. Keep trying goggles on until you find the perfect pair. Remember you pay for what you get, so spend within reason, but spend at the higher end of reason.
Swimsuit: There are many different brands out there, but my best advice is go for comfort and fit over brand and look. I have a long trunk so Nike tends to fit me best, however your nearest sporting goods store should have a huge selection of swimsuit for women and men alike.
Wetsuit: Wetsuits are not required at most races, although Matt can attest that he was not able to compete in a triathlon this year due to not having a wetsuit. This purchase it totally up to you, but a purchase proven to be beneficial in some cases. A wetsuit will help in dealing with colder water and buoyancy, which at times will help with making the swim a bit easier.
Triathlon-Specific shorts: For race day it’s self, and if I can advice, at least a few swim practices leading up to race day you will want to wear triathlon-specific shorts. I advice wearing this to practice a few times for the simple fact you don’t want to be trying something new for the first time on race day. Triathlon-specific shorts are cycling shorts with thin padding to help cushion your toosh while competing in the bike portion of the race, but the padding is thin enough you will not absorb half the water in the lake like if you were to wear regular cycling shorts. Trust me you want that paddling!! Wearing tri shorts for the swim portion will also save you time during the transition (time you are transitioning between the swim and bike) in that you will not have to change into cycling clothes.
My small, uneducated and inexperienced advice on the swimming portion of a triathlon.
Happy Swimming,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Triathlon 101

As many of you, who have been tuning in once a month to read my disorganized thoughts I so freely share here in this small internet space know, I have been training for my first ever triathlon. As I embarked on this new athletic journey, that I had been tossing around in my mind for years, I thought ‘how hard can it really be….I have run ½ marathons, I can ride a bike, all I really need to know is how to swim laps and that can’t be too hard for someone who is already an athlete.’ Fast forward 3 months, I am here to tell you my friends triathlon training is the opposite of easy, maybe that is why the very few of us that do compete in them are considered ‘crazy’. I have been in swim lessons for 12 weeks, lost 15 lbs most of that from sweating while training in 100+ degree tempts., have amazing tan lines from my cycling shorts, have scrapes and bruises from not being able to unclip my cycling shoes in a pinch which results in humpty dumpty falling off her bike, had 911 called on me once this summer at the TU track workout due to heat exhaustion, and I am in bed by 10pm every night due to total exhaustion. So why am I doing this to myself you may be asking, well because at the end of the day I love it.

As you can see I have had many adventures, learning experiences and setbacks while training for this triathlon, I will be sharing my journey with over the next few weeks as I prepare for the August 21st event.

Well, it is 112 degrees this afternoon, I can’t think of anything better to do than hop on my bike and go for a nice sweat induces 20 mile ride. If you do not hear from me soon, send out search and rescue I may be aimlessly wondering towards a mirage of water in this desert Oklahoma has become.

Monday, August 1, 2011



I am writing inquiring about your whereabouts and if you are ever going to come visit me again. I know you have been very busy mending a broken heart, battling record high temperatures, training for a triathlon or two, taking the GRE, looking at grad schools and needing a vacation but I would like if you could come visit more often than once a month.


Friday, July 1, 2011

July 1

I am alive, although some days I do not feel like it. Life has been a whirl wind the past month in fact I am not sure where spring went. One day I was running along the trail, my life in order, the tempt around 70 degrees, a gentle breeze on my face the next day my life was anything but orderly, the tempt was over 100 and the gentle breeze was no more. Where did the past three months go?

I am not going to make any promises that I am going to anything daily on this blog, for every time I promise I fall short of that promise by the end of the month. So I am going to say, July is one of my favorite months, I hope that great fun things will happen in my life this month that I can share with you and that I will be here on my blog more often than the past few months have provided.

Until then,

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tip for the day....Monday style!

A few years ago I bought a mountain bike from an ex co-worker. It was more or less a steal and it has more or less been sitting in storage for the past 2 years. I am sure the news which I am going to share with you all is earth shattering so brace yourself……….if you let a bike sit for too long without using it, the tires go flat. Okay, so maybe not earth shattering, in fact knowledge held by nearly everyone I am sure. Nonetheless, after sitting in storage my mountain bike was beyond the point of being able to be ridden. So I called up my hunky handyman who came to my rescue with a tire pump. After engaging a set of pliers, a lot of muscle and some sweat my tires got some air in them.

Armed with aired up bike tires I set out yesterday morning for a much overdue 20 mile bike ride. It was an amazing Sunday morning…..the sun was shining down on Tulsa and the air was a comfortable 77 degrees and the wind was gusting to 25 mph. Oh how I try to embrace the Oklahoma wind, but it sure is hard especially on good hair days or when trying to take an overdue bike ride. Overdue being a key word here for two reasons:

1) My legs were not prepared to battle the gusty winds.
2) I didn’t think about the need for sunscreen.

My back is a very uncomfortable shade of red today and there is not enough aloe in the town of Tulsa to alleviate the pain. Not to mention I am going to be rockn’ an awesome farmers tan for the entire summer. So my tip for the day Monday style is to always wear sunscreen, for many reason, but one being you will not have to worry about the loss of sleep due to the pain of a burn.

Sleep tight!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!!

To all those mamas who are military mothers & grandmothers.

Those that have lost a child.

Those that have encouraged their children to reach for the stars.

Those that are no longer with us today.

Those that lead by example.

Those that love unselfishly.

To all the mamas that if not pillars of strength, beacons of hope and example of perseverance we would not be where we are today.

I love you mama...more everyday!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The ABC's of Wellness

Wellness has been on the top of my mind lately. With stress slowly eating away at me it has become essential to my mental and physical wellbeing that I begin to truly understand wellness, the components and how to implement them into my life. Yes….I run, I bike, I swim, I row, I lift, I walk, I golf (when I can), I eat healthy (most of the time), but there have to be other elements that make up a life of wellness. So I went in search of what wellness really meant and how I could infiltrate it into my life.

Wellness……..what does that really mean?
According to the Mayo Clinic there are 5 components that make up a wellness:
Aerobic Fitness
Healthy Nutrition
Weight Management
Musculoskeletal Conditioning
Stress Management

I am going to spend some time over the next few weeks covering each of these components in detail……but in the mean time I want to share a quote with you that I stumbled upon today while reading about the healthcare crisis in America:
“A serious competitive runner cannot smoke and cannot be overweight. For those who strive to control our healthcare costs, we offer this simple cost effective suggestion: RUN HARD. RUN LONG. RUN HARD FOR A LONG TIME.”

Get out there and run my hommies!
Love ya!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A little H2O

I have huge news to share with you.

Are you ready?

Are you sitting down?

Are you sure you are ready?

I registered for my first ever triathlon!!!!

Okay so maybe that is not huge news for you, but I am beyond excited. I have been thinking about competing in a triathlon for nearly 3 years, yes I know it takes me while to commit. I have spent the past month looking for a road bike I think I found the perfect one, I just need to save for it now….those thing a ma jigs do not come cheap. However, the one thing I can start right now is learning to swim, I hear that is critical to the success of competing in a tri.

I started swim lessons last night and oh my gosh I may have found my new love. You may be thinking I thought children under the age of 10 took swim lessons; well they do but so do women who are 32 and like to channel their inner child from time to time. So I pulled on my super tight Speedo, strapped on my goggles and did a cannon ball right into the middle of the pool well maybe not that last little bit.

I met my swim instructor at 7pm last night and to be honest I was a bit nervous. I had been thinking all day ‘I am pretty sure I am going to start hyperventilating when I put my face in the water’. After all for 30 some years I have been swimming with my face above the water with the notion that I was going to breath in H2O if I stuck my nose in the water. Much to my surprise I have no issue at all with placing my face under water; I did however have some serious issues with keeping my chin glued to my chest. As Katie (my most precious swim instructor) told me, if I don’t keep my head down then I am going to cause drag and it will slow me down. SLOW ME DOWN that is not going to work, after all I am learning to swim in order to compete in a timed event.

With my lesson only being 30 mins in length we simply worked on the chin issue, Thursday’s lesson will bring something new and exciting I am sure. But I need to practice so I am off to the pool in order to concur gluing my chin to my chest… you think super glue or gorilla glue is the best for this particular situation?


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

National Teachers Day

Anybody and everybody that makes this world a better place by just being in it should have a special day in their honor. I think of a lot of people that have done extraordinary things in our history and/or are extraordinary people that have days specifically designed to honor them.

January 15th ……Martin Luther King’s Birthday

February 15th …….Presidents Day

March 17th…….St. Patrick's Day

April 29th…..Mica’s Birthday

May 8th …….Mother’s Day

June 19th ….Father’s Day

July 4th….Independence Day

August 8th ….Shanda’s Birthday

September 5th….Labor Day

October 1st….World Vegetarian Day

November 3rd….Matt’s Birthday

December 25th….Christmas

Today….May 3rd is a day set aside to honor and celebrate those who do something good, important and valuable every day…..our teachers. Teachers help to shape, form and mold us in a positive direction and into the individuals who we become. I can think of many teachers through the years that have impacted my life in a profound and positive way……Mrs. Ports, Ms. Adair, Mr. Wagner, Mrs. Nelson, Mr. Basher, Dr. Ownbey and the list goes on. When I recall all the extraordinary teachers in my life they all have the same attributes….supportive, helping, humble, kind spirited, motivating, patient and positive.

Thank you to all the teachers out there that make this world a better place by helping to shape and mold our great nation!!

Thank you teachers!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Important Facts About Chad

Did you know that today is brothers and sisters day?

1.Chad works the world’s worse hours, but he loves his job, loves his co-workers and loves his life. I think we could all learn a thing a two from Chad about following our dreams and passions.

2.Chad and I are night and day yet somehow grew up under the same roof. He is laid back, chill and very rarely gets upset. I on the other hand…..well I am the opposite.

3.Chad’s favorite food is steak and lobster. I pause for a moment on this statement and wonder how exactly is he my brother.

4.Chad is good everything he does.

5.Chad has listened to all my stories of heartbreak, love, drama, marathon training and everything between and still answers his phone when I call. Yet now that I think about it, he doesn't not answer my calls as often as he use to.

6.Chad is an inspiration…I hope I am at least half the person he is.

If you have a brother or sister tell them today and everyday how much they mean to your life. If you don't have a sibling get one through the Big Brother Big Sister chapter in your community, the relationship will change your life!

Love you bro!!

April showers bring May?

Isn’t there a phrase out there that goes something along the lines of…………April showers bring May flowers? Bring on the flowers!!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


My family has been a pillar of support for me over the years.


Going through difficult journey's in life it becomes very clear how important friends are to one's life and sanity.

My brother

My brother has been by my side through all the great and rough times in life. Love you bro!!!

God’s beauty

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Watching the family grow.

Honored to be close enough in distance to watch these two incredible children grow up.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The freedoms of expression throw art.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Oklahoma Skies

I love listening to an Oklahoma storm, but I also love the colors that can only be seen as these storms bubble up in the spring time air.

Monday, April 4, 2011


The opportunity to live in a free country.


Working for a non-profit cancer organization I am made very aware daily how very lucky I am to have good health.

A college education!

Not only do I feel blessed to have been able to go to college and receive an excellent education I also met some extraordinary people as I walked the roads of Oklahoma State University.


My life has been in tops tervy mode the last week or so. With the realization that it may not become steady again for a little while I am going to dedicate my blog during the month of April to pictures. Not just any pictures, I am going to post picture of the things I am grateful for. Sometimes I get lost in the ups and downs of life and forget to sit back and look at all the amazing people, places and things I have been blessed with. So with that said I have a little catching up to do being today is the 4th.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What a night.

Somewhere amidst the month that was February I turned a year older. I have come to embrace aging after all we all grow wiser and more beautiful with each passing year correct? That may be my own warped perception, but I am sticking to it.

This year during my birthday week I happened to be excessively busy and the last thing I wanted to do was work a concert for one of Komen’s celebrity ambassadors who was in town. I love Candy Coburn as a person, and she is a great musician I always enjoy listening to her, it would have been one thing if I was simply going to her concert, but I had to WORK an evening two days before my birthday. Why you asked did Lindsay and I have to do this and no one else from the office, I asked myself the same question. I have this really bad habit of never saying no, so I agreed to work. I had to cancel dinner plans with a friend and as my co-work and friend Lindsay picked me up from my apartment at 6pm to head down to Cains in order set up for the event I went kicking and screaming. As a side note, when Lindsay called to tell me she was outside my building to pick me up she said “bring you camera you never know if there will be a picture opportunity”. I thought that was silly for her to ask, she knows this sister does not go anywhere without her camera especially to work events. Anyway I grab my purse and my camera and huffed and puffed all the way down to her car.

As we drove over to the venue Lindsay was on the phone with Candy’s manager spelling the names of Aaron (Lindsay’s husband), Matt (we all know who he is) and myself; which didn’t seem odd to me, because anytime we work an event we always get extra tickets for Matt and Aaron in case they want to swing by. However, on that same note, I knew there was no way Matt was going to come down he is not the biggest country music fan around. But at least it was a nice gesture by Lindsay to think about them. When she got off the phone she said “well since you know what is going on now I guess I will fill you in”, little did she know I had no idea what was going on. She said Matt and Aaron were meeting us for the concert.

Long story short, I didn’t have to work the concert it was all a set up. Matt and Aaron met us for dinner then we all headed to Cains where we got our VIP tickets and hung out with Candy on her tour bus

before watching a great concert.

Half way through the concert Candy pulled me on stage and we had a happy birthday sing-a-long.

It was a birthday celebration I will remember forever!!!

What a wonderful evening, shows one never knows what is around each turn in life. I have the world’s best friends that beats all.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Missed a month

So I sit here today the first day of March, realizing I missed almost an entire month of blogging yet again. The past two weeks have been a bit of a blur between two surprise birthday parties, three days spent at the hospital with a grandfather in ICU, a huge report due at the office, two parties I made cupcakes for, and a grandfather that passed away. I feel as though I have just run a marathon without a metal to prove it.

The month of February started with a snow storm to beat the record books and ended with a sad good-bye to a loved one. What a month, a month I am sure I will remember forever. But I here to tell you I am getting back in the saddle and am hopeful the month of march will be a bit more calm. Here is a short list of items I hope to accomplish this month............

1) Relax
2) Plant an herb garden at Matt's (he does not know his backyard will soon smell of basil and cilantro)
3) Take more pictures
4) Blog more often
5) Pick up training for a half
7) Relax (oh did I mention that already)

Happy 1st day of March Ya'all!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Can it be that she is 4 today?

This little princess turned 4 today and I can hardly believe it. I have been there every year to celebrate with this precious angel I am sad to say as she turns 4 I will be in Tulsa and she will be in Houston, but we will reunite again soon. Auntie Jen loves you Hope!!


Light of our life

Remarkably sweet
Innocent laughter
Kind hearted
Eager to learn
Yippy (well maybe that is not a word that describes a person but that is what I say when I get to see her)!!

Love you sweetie!!