What’s for Breakfast



What’s for breakfast!?!

As I am posting this! i know some are saying Breakfast….. nah, we fast!

Others are looking at the contents thinking…… where is the protein? 

And others are critiquing the fruit.


Me:  well, I enjoyed steel-cut oats, slivered almonds, strawberries and blueberries.  Every. Single. Bite.


The point is….. i firmly believe that we should eat when we are hungry, and not when we aren’t.

Telling me I can’t have something, like grains, makes grains the thing I crave!

And if I dont want to eat it, I shouldnt buy it or bring it into the house. 


Simplicity.  It helps me best.  I do calculate my macros from time to time, but I understand there are times when I need more carbohydrates, and times i need more protein. 

One might say it is about balance.  I think it more like managing the insanity.   But maybe, thats balance.  


What did you have for breakfast? 







Posted in breakfast, coaching, eating, food, nutrition, NutritionCoaching, wholefoods | Leave a comment

Friends and Family Discount




Just wanted to share with you.   As a ambassador for Team Nuun, I am able to pass along saving to you.

Valid until 6March2019.


Posted in #runitforward, ambassador, coaching, community, fuel for training, hydration, nutrition, running, swimming, Team NUUN | Leave a comment

Adopting a New Attitude

Yesterday, I worked the Chevron Houston Marathon.  This morning, I am seizing the opportunity to warm-up, and enjoy some down time.  I work at the Finish Line with the Medical Team, and it is can be quite exhilarating and cold.   The Finish Line is shaded by trees and buildings, and if Houston brings wind to the party, I hope you are wearing something warm.   Yesterday, it warmed up to 50 by day’s end.   We were cold, and warm, and cold.   But it is an experience I would not trade.  



I am sometimes asked how I get to do such cool things, or told that I am an inspiration to others, and how I am fearless. 

I am usually humbled to hear the words, and sometimes I scratch my head.  At times, I view what I am doing as a need to do.   I want to make changes, so I need to shake out the carpet, or pick myself up by the bootstraps and get moving.  Other times, it is fulfilling an obligation.  I need to demonstrate that I am giving back to the community in my role as USA Triathlon Coach, and so, I volunteer at races.  And other times, these have provided amazing networking opportunities.  I meet some pretty cool people.  

Trust me, I can be as stuck in the mud as the next person, the difference is not that I am not afraid, but I have adopted the attitude that I cannot fail.   I may just be redirected.  


In adopting the attitude that I cannot fail, I have realistically looked at the situation.   If I do not apply for the job, ask if I can participate, move forward, I have chosen to shut the door.  The answer is a resounding NO!  And I did that.  There is no one to blame but me.

If I move forward, the worst that could be said is NO.  So what does it hurt to take a risk, if I want to generate movement or something new in my world.   Doing nothing is an automatic no.  

-If I move forward, and they do say no, I may be redirected to something else.  And doors may open.

-If I move forward, they may say yes.  And doors may open.

-And yes, if I move forward, they may say NO, and doors are slammed.  It is sometimes not a good feeling initially, but I continue moving forward.   

When I was involved in Mary Kay, one of the directors said, NO may not always mean no all the time.  It may be a NO for right now.   And in that, I choose to walk through open doors.  That is unless God slams them shut, or something is screaming DANGER on the other side.  You can always learn from the experience, even if it is, This is NOT right for me!  But doors that close, rarely open again.  


As we are tackling our BHAGs (BIG, Hairy, Audacious Goals) this year, I am going to encourage you to seize opportunities as they arise.   What races do you want to tackle?  What challenge intimidates you? What doors are open that you can walk through?   What scares you?  

Remember, I am hear to guide and help you.  




Posted in ambassador, attitude, BHAG, coaching, commitment, community, confidence, courage, goal setting, goals, goals, goals, goals, gratitude, motivation, motivation Monday, seeyouathefinishline, training, triathlon, volunteering | Leave a comment

Resolutions on a Rolling Start?


It’s that time of year again……

The gyms will be packed, the pools will have no lanes, and suddenly everyone is out on running track.   

And then, by March….. all those, well, the majority of those will ghost.   

This is the season the personal trainers become sharks and predators (as if they werent already), and I see it occassionally with coaches I know.  I too have fallen guilty of pressuring someone based on emotionally driven New Years Resolutions. 

But we know it doesnt work.   The end result clearly demonstrates the insanity does not work.  And I was listening to a podcast recently, if we were riding, and in episode 6, they discussed this very issue.  We know it doesn’t work, because the people who train regularly make alternative arrangements for the months of January and February, or rearrange their scheduled to ensure a quiet time in the gym, pool or on the roads.  And those who have committed for a moment tend to become frustrated, intimidated, overhwelmed, bored or distracted and quit.  We know it doesn’t work, because those gyms that were insanely crowded the first week of January are empty in March.  

The ‘tongue and cheek’ solution was to give everyone a different start date, 

so the gyms would not be totally insane on 1January.  

Despite the humor, the reality is many people start and don’t finish. They give up.  For whatever the reason, the want or desire to achieve is NOT greater than the hurdles that come at them.   I keep learning life can be dirty, messy and definitely unpredictable.  BUT, I am here, committed to this ride.   I have to learn how to deal with the challenges that come my way.  I have to be able to look myself in the morning, and live with the choices I have made. 



On my personal blog, I talked about BHAG.  (BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL).  The goal that stays with you, regardless of when you first considered it.  The one that marinates in the back of your thoughts.  The one that keeps showing up.  The goal that drives you. It is prominent on your bucket list!  

Perhaps, as coaches we need to teach the value of just showing up.  The value of doing little things every day to chip away at that elephant.   To keep pressing forward.  Afterall, the individual who runs marathons did not decide to run a marathon yesterday, for the race tomorrow.   It was a goal that needed to be worked on daily.  From nutrition, to strength, to rest and recovery, to the run, these things needed to be cultivated.  They did not just happen.  


As we are preparing for 2019, it is normal to reflect.  I look at where I have been, what ground I have covered, and the detours taken.  I evaluate backtracking and whether different paths or ideas should be sought, or if I should stay the course.   I look at my daily activities and whether or not these things are supporting my goals and objectives.  If they are not, how do I change them?  Or what do I need to change or revise? And I check in monthly.   Later,  I use my birthday as a big check in and perhaps reset.   With the date in August, some may view it to late in the year to change course.  Since I am self-evaluating monthly, I use it as a new start, so to speak.  Another day to reflect on where I have been, where I want to go, and how I am getting there.  


So, my question to you is:   

What is your BHAG? 

How can I help you achieve it? 



Posted in BHAG, celebrate, coaching, coaching tri, commitment, community, cycling, eating, fuel for training, goal setting, goals, goals, goals, goals, motivation, nutrition, planning the day, planning your race, preparation, running, seeyouathefinishline, strength, swimming, training, triathlon, truegoals | Leave a comment

That Intimidating Swim……

The SWIM?!?!?! 


No but really…… the swim!!!!!


Or for arguments sake, 

Let’s just say…..


The swim.

Regardless of how you look at it, the swim can be the most challenging aspect of the race, even to those of us who are part fish.   Sometimes, just looking across the pool or the lake brings feelings of unease, uncertainty and self-doubt.   In fact, the other day I got in the water and struggled to find my feel of the water.  The 500 yards I swam was one of the most difficult and challenging swims I have ever done.  Whatever the reason that made it so difficult, I chose after that to hop out and tackle it a different day.  (Some days are like that.  Not worth the fight). 


I get asked a lot to evaluate and help individuals who are new(er) to the sport of triathlon to assist in the swim.  In fact, I had one such conversation last evening.   The person wasnot certain how to tackle the swim training, learning the stroke and building endurance.  She accomplished a 500yard swim and was amazed at how challenging that could be.  

I suggested breaking it down.  For example:

100 warm up

8 x 25 yard catch- up drill

8x 25 yard swim

8 x 25 yard kick (with or without board)

8 x 25 yard swim 

100 yard warm down

And ever so simpy, that 500yard swim has now become 1000yards.   And because of the way it is broken up, very achievable.  Not intimidating at all.   And as the swimmer progresses, add variety and distance to the sets and reps.   

I also suggested looking at the time spent swimming in the water, and how that increases.  Using a variety of measurements increases the feeling of success, especially on those days that 500yards is daunting.  

It is the accumulation of volume that builds the endurance, so the swimmer can swim longer and further.  


Like eating an elephant,

It can be accomplished one bite at a time.

I think we like to over-complicate things to help us feel accomplished.  Instead of taking it one step at a time, one lap at a time, and looking at what was completed, instead of the seemingly large and daunting size of the tasks yet undone.




Posted in coaching, coaching tri, swimming | Leave a comment

How much do I need to DO over Holiday Break?

Training Peaks sent an email yesterday with various articles, including this one entitled,

 ‘How Much Should You Train Over the Holidays?’ 

My first snarky thought was like, ‘Excuse me, Training Peaks.  The Holidays…. well, they are over.’  But I was chatting with a new friend, who is learning to better her swim, preparing for her first triathlon, and the coach in me wanted to share.  

The reality:   

The majority of the athletes I train are on a do as you wish protocol for the one, sometimes two weeks surrounding the Holidays.  

The change in programming is not going to hurt them.  There are no feelings of guilt, if they spent he day sledding and did not run, bike or swim.  There are even less feelings of letting me down should the person likely over-indulge on the treat only made this time of year.  And the change in protocol or programming is empowering and healthy.  

The athlete gets to choose what she would like to do.   I get notes on what they actually did, so the return to regular programming is not brutal.  

It is also provides rest.   Through different activites, and play the individual is able to switch focus away from programs and must dos and just enjoy family, friends and the season.  

And when the choice is to go for a run, bike or swim, it provides an outlet.  Family can get overwhelming at times and we need a break.  Going on an adventure alone, provides that ‘escape’.


Then there are the others with whom I work who have BIG races coming up in January or early February.   

These individuals may not be provided as much or any freedom in their programming.   Programming is a reflection of the goals.  

Before I sound like an uncompassionate ogre, I have a conversation with the client as the Holiday is approaching about training, travel, and plans, so that training is not superseding Holiday Plans.  

I always allow for random days, sets, time within programming to empower the athlete to choose.  I have ‘This is your Day’ days.  The individual chooses.  Something or nothing, it is completely up to him.  And my athletes are happier and healthier for it.  

All snarkiness aside, it was a good article to read, serving as a reminder it is OK to breath.  It is the Holidays afterall. 




Posted in coaching, coaching tri, commitment, cycling, eating, goal setting, running, seeyouathefinishline, swimming, training, triathlon | Leave a comment

Why does healthy eating choices have to be a ‘diet’?

A friend posted a photo of her dinner last night………. salmon teryaki and steamed broccoli.  It looked amazing!   I wish i liked salmon.  Following the photo was a frenzy of comments surrounding the new diet she must be following.  She responded….. not following a diet protocol, just making wiser choices surrounding my allergies and health.  

And I thought to myself, shouldn’t all eating choices be that way.   Based on your needs.   This morning’s breakfast:  three eggs, tomatoes, fresh spinach and New Zealand Cheddar cheese.   Simple.  Satisfying.   Because I wanted an omelette for breakfast.  

Perhaps, we should consider reducing processed foods instead of just persuing a diet prtotocol.  



Posted in coaching, food, fuel for training, NutritionCoaching | Leave a comment

Programming…. it’s OK to overshare

Sometimes, devloping a program can be one of the most challenging things I have to do as a coach.   There are so many nuances to the art of buidling a program suitable for the athlete.   And yes, at times I have borrowed ideas for sets, reps, intensities, movements, and executions from other coaches, because I like the way it presented.   But the art of coaching is like a dance…… sometimes leading, simetimes led…… with everything moving toward the goals established.  


I was thinking about this this morning, as I was programming for the upcoming week(s), on how critical communication between the athlete and coach is.  We have many cool platforms and tools at our disposal yo write, read, send receive programming and feedback, but it is still the dynamic of the relationship of athlete to coach that determines the efficacy of the program.  

It is really challenging for me, to coach someone that I do not receive feedback from.  Even weekly, a check-in is valuable.  The check-in is more than stats, and numbers.  It is an opportunity for you, the athlete, to tell me, your coach, what’s up?  Are you, ill, or tired?  What changes or stressors are in your life right now?   All of these influence the ability to execute a program that should be brining you to a ready position to compete and perform.   Despite popular belief, coaches are not mind-readers.   While we can guess a lot, without communication, you are allowing us to program blindly, without a compass.   

Personally, I have the need for control.   I want the people who are giving me advice and direction in my training and performance to know as much about me, about how I performed in the last training session, and what else is going on in my world.  I want these individuals to be empowered to ask, knowing they will get a response.   I want to overshare.   I want the positive dynamic of a relationship, knowing that the information I am sharing will be heard and used to develop a solid plan.   


As your coach, it is OK to overshare.  Text, email, phone.  Be certain to keep me in the loop.  


Have you talked to your coach today? 

Posted in athletic development, coaching, coaching girls, coaching tri, coachingkids, commitment, communication, compass, goal setting, listeningwithintent | Leave a comment


I find myself in an interesting position as Head Coach of both the Otter Tri Team, as well as Houston Christian High School Swim Team.   I am recruiting.   And while coaches tend to forget that a BIG part of their role is salesman —selling the team, selling  their services, selling themselves— I am faced with it Every. Single. Day.   What they forget to tell you is…… a BIG part of selling is the personal relationships developed, the time spent with the client, team member, or prospective is KEY.   How you answer their questions, the time you take for them, how clearly you explain expectations (all things at which I have failed epically!) influences the buy in.   


  • I  always carry business cards.   I am at practice and parents are watching what we are doing, the interactions I may have with the kids, the interactions the kids have with each other.   I would like to be able to collect everyone’s contact information, so my card does not get lost, but it is not always possible, when coaching.   


  • I speak to the kids.   Ultimately, it is the kid WHO is being coached.  I want kids present who want to be there.   I want kids to be engaged, and want to participate.   And so, it is the dynamic that I establish with the kids that makes the differemce.   I shake their hands, I get down on their level (i am 6ft tall, afterall).   And then I speak with the parents.  


  • And I remind myself, that while it would be pretty cool to coach or work with the next great one….. all the kids I coach are pretty awesome in their own right.  They have pretty diverse goals and objectives and are coming together to participate in a common sport.  
This morning, I got a text message from a potential high school swimmer.  ‘I might be recruited by x on the swim team.  I am not sure if I am welcome, because my skills are ok.’   Awesome!  You should come and join us!  We are looking for swimmers who want to learn, get better, practice hard, and have fun!  Response:  Great!  I will be there!  And so, I have made an impression on this high school kid, that it is important to try and learn and improve, and we are not all perfect at swimming.   
My attitude and words greatly influence the kids with whom I work, regardless of their age.   
I keep learning how to express myself, to allow my compassion, energy and empathy shine through.  I want to attract people to my programs, and not chase these away!   
And in all of this……… I am recruiting.   
Posted in ambassador, being engaged, coaching, coaching girls, coaching tri, coachingkids, community, recruiting, swimming, triathlon | Leave a comment


As part of my journey to compete in Lavaman 2019, in conjunction with Team In Training, I get messages from the Team Coach.   To get to know the members of the team better, he send out notes periodically and recently asked us about our swim.  

These were the questions.

1. Can you swim 200yards without stopping?

2. What is your average pace?

3. Is becoming a more proficient swimmer important to you?

4. Are you worried about the 1hr and 10minute swim time cut off at LavaMan? 


My responses(insert humor).

1. Define stopping.  I train in a pool and there are walls.  

2.  Is a shark chasing me?

3.  Always working on efficacy in the water.   Drills in application to the swim. 

4.  No, not really.  I want to swim fast to get out of the water.  See question 2.


I chuckled with friends about the answers, and one said, ‘The coach does not knkw you coach or have to swim for your job’.  


In ALL seriousness, the questions I found interesting.   I may insert into the personal assessment for my athletes.  I see many triathletes who struggle with the swim.  I am in several forums where swim is discussed regularly.  From beginners on up, at some point there is some drama related to the swim discussed.   And yet, from time to time, less emphasis is placed on the swim.   

The swim, while the shortest leg of the race, is first.  It can set the tone for the entire race.  Not all of us are able to shake off the results of the swim during the rest of the race, and keep going stepping into a new zone.   Many of us carry that part of the race with us into the bike and run.   

I remember one athlete telling me after his first season, he changed his entire approach to training for season two.  He spent way too much time on the swim, in the previous season.  I responded that he needed to spend that time and energy on the swim.   He was learning how to swim, and how to be proficient in the water.  He spent the appropriate amount of time on the swim, to lay a foundation from which to build.  And his training should evolve as he continues on this triathlon journey.  

As seasons are winding down in the Northern Hemisphere, it is the time to start considering improving your swim for next season.   The off-season is a perfect opportunity to spend time developing or improving a swim skill that will carry you into the next season.  The same holds true for the other weak links in your race.  I personally would taper down over-all training, and focus on one or two skill sets on whcih you want to improve.  From there start building into your preseason training.  But many wait until preseason to consider skill development.  At this time, you can only hope for improvement as your racing schedule commences and you have compounded poor skills into habits.  

Take a moment to answer the questions asked of me.  And self-evalaute your swim.   Granted, you may not be preparing for LavaMan, but consider the races you are putting on your 2019 schedule.  What are those distances, environments (lake, ocean, river), and time restrictions?  How do you feel about your OpenWater swim vs your Pool swim?  And how are you preparing?  

What drills help you find your stroke, catch, and feel of the water?   Are you using those to improve your stroke, or are you drilling through your race?  How comfortable are you in Open Water?  

Remember, I am here to help you.  I can evaluate your stroke via video, or work with your privately (or in a small group).  

The swim sets the tenor for the race.  How ready are you?  

Posted in coaching, coaching tri, goal setting, planning your race, seeyouathefinishline, swimming, training, triathlon | Leave a comment