Road Trip!!

It's finally here!   I leave tomorrow morning for a 5-hour road trip down to The Woodlands, TX.

I'll be joining the Team Endurance Nation as part of their IMTX training camp by doing a group run on Friday, followed by a race execution talk and then ride 90 miles of the Ironman Texas course on Saturday morning.

As soon as I'm done (and showered) I'll haul my tired butt home and hopefully make it back in time to tuck my little girl into bed.  I've only been away from her two nights in her 2 1/2 years, so it's going to be harder on me than I'm sure it will on her. 

However, I'm so excited to finally be able to get to see and experience the course and to get my bearings around the Woodlands.  I'm also looking forward to our planned dinner on Friday night!  I'm meeting up with Jeff, from Dangle the Carrot and his wife, Annie and several other friends competing at IMTX- some of who I will meet for the first time.  There's 8 of us in total and we're headed to the The Grotto- Houston for dinner.  Mmmmmm.... Italian! 

Have a great weekend!!

Go Jason, Go!

I know most of you that follow my blog also follow Jason over at   He's one of the most inspiring, encouraging, healthy-eating, nice, all-around great guys that I've ever met! 

So, I wanted to wish him a Texas-size dose of Good Luck for his upcoming race at the Ironman California-Oceanside 70.3 this weekend.  He's going to rock this race! I am so proud of him for all the training that he's put in to accomplish his first Half Iron-- part of which included freezing our tails off and riding in 27-degree weather out at the Texas Motor Speedway and even colder weather for a 15K race earlier in the year! It's all worth it, though! 

Sorry I won't be able to cheer you on at the race, but you know I'll be there in spirit (well, technically I'll be doing a 90-mile bike ride down on the IMTX course... but I'll be thinking about you!)

So, do me a favor..... go to his blog and send him some well wishes! 

Team Aquaphor 2011!

Woo hoo!  I'm in!  I submitted an application a few months ago and found out on Friday afternoon that I made the cut for the 2011 Team Aquaphor sponsored athlete team! Very exciting!  :) 

I just sent back my Ambassador Agreement and look forward to connecting with my new teammates!

The cool part is that I've used Aquaphor since I was a kid.  My mom worked for a Dermatologist and it's been a staple in my household for dry skin (especially now with my daughter), for sunburns (like the one I have now) and if I do chafe on a run. It's also good for those long bike rides!!

Looking forward to sporting the new team kit and being able to offer some samples and coupons! I'll post pictures when I get everything in!  Thanks Team Aquaphor and Active Ambassadors!

About Team Aquaphor

Aquaphor is dedicated to providing athletes the ability to train and compete while being free from uncomfortable chafing, blisters, and other skin conditions that often occur during strenuous exercise. In its sixth year of existence, Team Aquaphor is comprised of 200 top-age group athletes who primarily compete in triathlons, running and cycling. Aquaphor thanks all past and present team members for their success, dedication, and support.

Crazy Train

Sunscreen FAIL
"I'm going off the rails on a crazy train!"   -Ozzy
82 mile bike yesterday afternoon... 14.5 mile run this morning! :)
* I took a half day off on Friday to get my 5 hour ride in.  It was a gorgeous 80 degree day.  Winds were nasty as usual at the Texas Motor Speedway, but this was my longest ride to date, so I was pretty excited to hit another milestone. 

* I sprayed sunscreen on like crazy... but apparently the winds blew it off before it hit my skin.  Well, at least it's going to be an interesting tan line. :P

* Putting on a sports bra to go run this morning was excruciatingly painful.

* I didn't succumb to using that as an excuse as to not go run.  I actually ended up adding an extra couple miles to the run, just because I knew I could.  (My foot is feeling great!)

* Leaving to go down to the Woodlands next weekend to ride the majority of the IMTX course.  I can't wait!  If you told me last year that I would be excited about riding 90 miles, I would have fallen over laughing.

* Riding 90 miles will be my "taper" for my half iron the following weekend.  Or is the 1/2 Iron my taper week...  bwhwahahah... crazy train.

* I've had a rough couple of weeks with some let-downs and now I'm back to my normal, happy self and having so much fun with this training.

* At the end of next week, I will have surpassed my entire training total for the bike of last year.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend of training!

Countdown Update

18 days until Ironman Lonestar 70.3

60 days until Ironman Texas

I'm starting to feel the tick tock of the clock.

It's stressing me out. 

I've been involuntarily "off" running for this entire last week, from the injury I sustained last week.  The PT has me back running tomorrow... but I'm only supposed to run 4 miles.  4.  That's it. 

It's stressing me out. 

I had a great 60 mile ride last Friday with my friend Marcy, who is also training for IMTX.  It was a confidence booster.  Since I can't run, I spent the next night on the trainer and went 52 miles, so that I technically rode the 112 miles.   I rode a total of 205 miles last week, since I was off running.  I still want to ride the entire 112 miles in one shot. It's a mental thing.  (Although there's a rather loud voice in the back of my head that is telling me to stick to the training plan.)

It's stressing me out.

Swimming is going well, but the pool has been so hot it's almost impossible to swim hard and not have your pulse rate skyrocket.  It was 88+ degrees.  The pool thermometer apparently stopped registering.  I swam my 500 warm-up and then went to find the pool manager to see if she could start pumping cold water in the pool.  She asked me what was wrong, because I was literally red- like a lobster.  I felt like a lobster being slowly boiled.  "The pool is as hot as the therapy pool.  I'm swimming sprint repeats. I'm going to puke on your pool deck."

It's stressing me out.

Other than that, training is going great!  Yay!  Love this sport.  :)

Marriott Residence Inn- Woodlands - Ironman Texas Disaster!

Ever "Get Walked" from a hotel?   Apparently it's the new industry standard on how to treat guests that make reservations months in advance.  The following are the details/ excerpt from communications with Marriott Corporate and the Woodlands Township regarding my reservations for the hotel we had planned on staying at for Ironman Texas. 


Marriott Residence Inn - Woodlands, TX
I made reservations at the Marriott Residence Inn The Woodlands/Market Street on June 24, 2010 for a block of 4 rooms. I was notified two days ago that the hotel is "overbooked" and that they will be moving my reservation to a hotel that is of lower class (industry practice called "Walking Down") and about 10 minutes away from the current hotel.

My reservations were guaranteed with a credit card - therefore the overbooking would qualify as a breach of contract and that the process of walking my reservations to a hotel of a lower class will stand with most authorities as a constitution of fraud and misrepresentation and is protected legally in Texas under the Deceptive Trade Practices and in article 17.46(9) advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised.

It seems that the reservations that were made before the Residence Inn at The Woodlands/ Market Street was notified of the set date of the Ironman Texas Triathlon (and therefore increased the price in the rooms) are being walked.  And, there is no doubt that the Fairfield Inn's pricing for their rooms will be at an increased price due to the event.  So, technically we are being asked to accept reservations for a downgraded hotel with increased pricing- and since we are now less than nine weeks away from the event, options for lodging are limited. 

It is also become apparent- in discussion with others that had also booked at this hotel-  that the individuals being bumped from their rooms are those that had multiple rooms reserved, rather than the order in which the reservations were made.  No doubt that it is easier from a corporate standpoint to deal with a single contact for four rooms than to deal with four individuals with single rooms.  My reservations for the Residence Inn at The Woodlands/Market Street were made nine months in advance and before the Ironman Texas registration had even opened for registration. 

This hotel was booked for the convenient access to the Ironman run course as the family members that are attending with me will have both a toddler and an infant and were expecting to have access to the rooms throughout the day for the kids to have naps, as you know, the event lasts upwards of 17 hours.  The additional drive and difficulty in accessing the hotel with race day closures is beyond frustrating and adds additional stress to me, as a competitor, as well as to my family.

I understand that this is not just affecting me, as I was told by the General Manager that they overbooked by 20 rooms.

I have expressed my disappointment in this situation to Marriott Residence Inn and Marriott Corporate, but as my first impression, as a patron to the Woodlands Township, I am incredibly frustrated.  While Marriott Corporate has offered to provide assistance in offsetting one night of our stay - as a minimum corporate policy gesture - the fact is that the town and the organizations that represent it are very much a part of the overall experience of an event of this magnitude.




Note: Please know that this isn't an issue that will ruin my race and I understand that things can't always be controlled- I am frustrated for the inconveniences that this will present to my family on race day.  And, I'm publishing this so that others that may be in the same situation might find it.  I am not at all pleased on how the General Manager handled the situation, which is why I elevated the concern to Marriott's Corporate Communications department.  I included the Woodlands Township Chairman in the e-mail and the contact for Ironman Texas, so that they were privy to the situation, as if I were the race director or in the position of hosting this many people for an event, I would want to know as well- and not just an issue "swept under the rug."  So, thank you social media for my platform. Back to training.


Friday Wrap Up

I've been out of the loop on the blog for awhile, sorry!

Bought this t-shirt for a friend when he
ran his 1st Marathon
* Training is going well and I have been very steady, missing barely any workouts.  This week was a recovery week and next week starts the "Build Phase." Yikes!

* I had an awesome race a couple weeks ago at the Cowtown 1/2 Marathon.  I PR'd by over 7 minutes and came in under 2 hours.  So excited about that.  That was a long-term goal from about 10 years ago?  And, I was just doing a training run- not even thinking about a PR.  I blew my own expectations out of the water!

* My new bike is home and ready to go.  I had my bike fit on Tuesday and I will get to ride her tomorrow for the first time (not on the trainer)!  Yay!  Still no name yet...

* I'm hungry all the time, now.  I'm not someone who typically has a big appetite.  I ate a baked potato the other night and added an entire bag of pre-cooked chicken on it.  Those are enough for a family of what.. 3 or 4?  It didn't stand a chance. 

* Right now there is a banana, some ritz crackers and a box of raisins in my purse.  It now doubles as a glorified lunch box.  Those items will most likely not make it on my drive home from work.

* Fridays have become "4200 Fridays"... meaning, every Friday I'm swimming the Ironman-distance swim.  Yep, every Friday.   Bring it!  I will hit that bike like I just started the race.

* I am so thankful for the people who are supporting me on this journey. To my blog friends, real friends and family.  9 more weeks.  Thank you! 

* Last weekend, I rode out at the Texas Motor Speedway with Jason from He has become a really great friend, source of inspiration and someone who understands the training mentality.  We started our 4-hour ride and it was 28 degrees outside.  We froze.  But, we endured- because we're "dedicated, stotan machines."

* This weekend, I'm having to change my ride to Saturday, so I'll be riding with my friend, Marcy.  She's training for IMTX, too.  I'm going to try to keep up. 

Have a great weekend and have fun training! :)

Hood-to-Coast Entry Up for Bid on Ebay - Fundraiser for Christchurch, NZ

I've posted before on how much I like the site,

Here's another reason why: has been a sponsor of the IMTalk podcast for several years now. The show's hosts, John and Bevan, are located in the heart of Christchurch and in an effort to help out they have donated their full team registration for the Hood to Coast Relay in Oregon this August 26-27 to help the Christchurch, NZ Earthquake Victims.
"The top bid gets the team. It's a 12 person team entry valued at $1320. Go grab 11 of your friends, each of you throw in $110 and you're off and rolling! Of course, anything above that would be fantastic! If you tried to get a team in this year - but didn't get in under the wire, THIS IS YOUR ONLY CHANCE TO GET A TEAM IN!"

Here's the Ebay link, if you're interested!  

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