Begin your journey today

 The only impossible journey is the one you never begin. -Tony Robbins. 

Today begins National Triathlon Week.  While many of you have successfully completed your first, second or even twentieth tri, there are some reading this who are still sitting on the fence, not sure where to begin.   I participate in several different triathlon groups, and I will say the hardest part is taking that first step.   


USA Triathlon has broken a week down as described in the photo above.  This is not a tranng plan, but an example of how to celebrate triathlon, and begin.   Join me as I will be executing the training focus each day.  And feel free to reach out for direction of how to begin.   There are many opportunities for coaching, including the Otter Tri Team (for youth), and the Pink Otters (for the ladies).   I am open to building and defining new training groups.   I look forward to working with you.  



Posted in ambassador, athletic development, celebrate, coaching, coaching tri, commitment, community, cycling, goals, goals, goals, goals, motivation, motivation Monday, preparation, running, seeyouathefinishline, training, trainingtogether, triathlon | Leave a comment

GAIN 2018 — Reflections


You can only grow if you’re willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.   ~Brian Tracy




It is easy to become an island in our thought processes, as well as our social interactions, both professionally and personally.   It is not easy learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, challenging our thought processes, to step in new directions and go!  But it is doing those things that have provided me the ability to move across country and relocate to Houston, to announce I am taking my career in a new direction and leaving the ‘swim lesson’ business, and founding The Otters, a youth tri team.   And sometimes, the results are spectacular, while others an experiment in learning.  


To continue challenging myself in the aspect of coaching and athletic development, I have joined an amazing community of professionals around the globe at GAIN.   Founded and organized by Vern Gambetta, the premise of a week of coming together to learn and share ideas has evolved to what it is today, a community of professionals from different aspects of sport and performance, coming together to learn and share, to challenge our thought processes about training so we can in turn provide for the athletes we coach.  We spend the week together.  Housed at Rice University, much of the learning takes place outside the classroom.   We eat together, have organized Movement Madness (organized and structured playtime) together, as well as trips to Valhalla in the evenings.   Friendships are developed over the week, and nurtured throughout the year.  

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Posted in athletic development, coacheseducation, coaching, coaching tri, coachingkids, GAIN2018, goals, goals, goals, goals, kidsinsport, kidstriathlon, mentored, motivation, networking, preparation, training, triathlon | Leave a comment

Global Running Day

My intent for Global Running Day was to create opportunities to share my love of RUN with all the people I encounter during the day.   Brooks Running used the theme #runitforward to encourage individuals to not only share the love of run, but also to dedicate the run to a specific cause.  


First up was my personal run.   I ran 3-miles, as per my marathon training plan.   Then I ran another 3 with the PINK OTTERS! We ran a casual and chatty pace at the Rice Loop. (We meet on Wednesdays at 5:30am, come join us) 

And then, my Indoor Cycling Class.  At Rice Rec Center, I decided that the cycling challenge would surround running.   And so, using the skill with the bike, we spent a great deal of time out of the saddle…….  running.  We ran to catch something, we ran in intervals, we ran uphill.  All to celebrate.  And work hard.  These ladies rock!  

You should come join us.  Wednesdays and Fridays at the Rice Rec Center at 12:15pm.  You do need to be a member, or with a member.  



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What is your Motivation?


This morning’s calendar tear-away.   I have been training and going and recently hit the stop button.   I dont want to go, I dont feel the fire burning inside to tackle my goals.  And yet, I want to accomplish them.  


And today, I took a moment to evaluate what motivates me.  This is in hope of inspiring you. 


1. Determine your goal.  What is it I want to do? I have signed up for three running races, and one swim event.  And I will probably add another run or two before the year is up.  Why?  I am conquering the goal of marathon.   Lofty, yes. And definitely accomplishable. 

Know what you want to do, and the rest should fall into place.  

2. Come up with a plan.  Developing a plan —perhaps with direction of a coach, can ensure you are on your way to achieving the goal.   Fear can be paralysing.  As can the overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to begin.  

A plan helps direct you in your way. 

3. Take Action.  This is sometimes the most challenging for me.  I orchestrate and direct, and when it comes to my own training…. my get up and go, got up and left.   At times, this is a sign that I am doing too much.   I might be embarrassed at what others might think of my struggles —after all, I am a coach and I should have it all together.  And at times, EXCUSES get in the way.   

Small steps pave the path to the accomplishment. 

Ultimately, the process is completely up to me.   In a years time, do I want to be where I am now?  Or do I want to reflect back on the journey and say, wow!  That was amazing. 


The motivation needs to come from me.  

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IronMan Texas

Brrrr!!! It is cold!  Are they really going to swim?   

You can tell I have been in Texas two-years.   I forgot about wetsuits, and chilly temps—those things that may be necessary for Spring races in the NorthEast.   

Yesterday, I hung out at the Finish Line at IronMan Texas in Galveston.  



With the tag-line, ‘See you at The Finish Line’ this means a lot to be able to work at the finish line.   The Finish embodies all the work, time and effrot  that was put into being there.   The Finish shows the determination, the guts, sometimes extreme mental challenges to were overcome during the race to arrive.   It embodies what racing is about. 

And in turn become a celebration   Tears, laughter and congratulations are shared.   


To all the competitors at yesterday’s event, Congratulations.   

For those toying with the idea of competing and yet feeling intimidated, feel free to reach out.  I can assist you in your journey. 




Posted in celebrate, coaching tri, commitment, community, courage, goals, goals, goals, goals, motivation, seeyouathefinishline, triathlon, volunteering | Leave a comment




I just finsihed the book, ROAR, by Stacy T. Sims, PhD. 

The mantra of the book is Women are not little men.  Catchy, and true.   I am woman, hear me Roar!

This text explores the path of the woman and training, through various cycles of life and training — pregnancy, menopause, during mentrual cycles — how eating is influenced by the hormones in our bodies, and what we can do to flow.   They also discuss training at altitude, eating for your body type, recovery training in heat or cold, and preparing to compete in different environments.  

Overall, I loved it.  The two women who wrote the book, Selene Yeager amd Stacy Sims are both endurance athletes. The insights they share on eating, hydrating and performance is supported by both research and anecdotal evidence.  Granted, there are some things I don’t agree completely.   

I recommend this to any female who is training and competing.  



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The Problem with Diets…..

I have written many times on food, eating and diets.  And it seems the same ‘diets’ keep popping up, with new names and new-catch phrases, all with the guise to get you to buy in.   Most of these programs are fads.   Many were booed under a different name, but are now embraced because of endorsement by this one or that.    And yet, we buy in hoping to achieve new results, QUICKLY.  

Recently, I went round and round, seemingly chasing my own tail, with someone who clearly did not understand nutrition trying to push an agenda on me.   Simply because I encouraged reducing processed foods,  I mean because in that statement I clearly said ‘follow-this diet’.   It is seemingly logical that if you want to improve your health, the simplest thing to do is reduce the amount of processed food consumed.  Dont buy it; dont bring it home.   It eliminates the temptation to eat it.   And in saying this, someone was trying to convince me that this is plan X, or diet Y, instead of solid eating advice.   

Because of this thought process, I feel the ‘diets’ are winning.  

Truly it is simpler to buy into a ‘plan’ than finding the balance in your life.  

Take a walk through your bookstore.  There is a whole section devoted to diets.   You can find everything under the sun.  And every day, more and more fitness coaches are promoting the diet du jour, and the diet companies have coaches for it as well.   Without the sound of reason, they are pushing a FAD, under the guise of health, all in hope that you buy in.  And many are so restricitng, so off-balance, it is no wonder you fall off the wagon and feel absolutely helpless and frustrated.   Others will create a weight-loss, amd when you return to your regularly scheduled lifestyle, you gain the weight back and then some, leaving you utterly overwhelmed.  

I mean, it was supposed to work, wasn’t it?  



Stepping forward, I want you to think about Balance.  Many eating habits and programs are not LIFESTYLE CHOICES, so I want you to begin now about balancing your food.   Think of DIET as a habit, as a lifestyle, the way you incorporate food into your daily existence.   It is not a FAD, it is what you do every single day.    It is how you fuel to perform, how you socialize, how you comfort, relax, and BE.  (You forgot food did all that?)  An eating program that does not provide balance will be tossed aside rapidly.  


Consider also the BALANCE on your plate.  Are you representing the. colors of the rainbow?  Do you include fruits and vegetables into your meals?   If no, why not?   Fruits and veggies provide us with many vitamins and minerals that we might not be getting otherwise. They provide fiber, which aids in digestion, feelings of fullness and passing our wastes.   

Oh, but you heard CARBS are bad.  

Or you should not eat SUGAR.

Does that include your fruits or veggies?  


I am still confused how we can label a food bad.   The reality is— we may have intolerances to different foods because of the processing, or our genetic makeups, or because of pharmeceuticals we are taking or other allergies we may have.   It does not make the food BAD.  It makes it not a good choice for us.   Making that individual.  


I know you are thinking oh, it must be easy for her…….  Honestly, it isnt.   I have great days, and days I don’t eat enough or I run down the rabbit hole and eat a WHOLE BAG of popcorn, or box of cookies.  But I know, that regardless of what happens now, I am one meal away from correcting the error.    I do not play the game of I can eat this and workout twice as long tomorrow.  Nor do I believe that eliminating a food group is a solution.   But I also know increasing my protein and reducing my carbs can increase my fat loss, just as increasing my leafy vegetables can.  


How do I eat?  I get asked this a lot,  especially now that I am a Nutrition Coach.   Truthfully, I eat a predominantly plant-based diet.   And let me explain, since it can mean many things.   It means, I fill my plate first with fruits and vegetables.   And then I garnish it with fish or seafood, or meat.  I eat cheese.  I have cream in my coffee.  Yes, real cream.  I eat grains with veggies.   I eat fruit.  I eat omelettes, with tons of veggies.   I eat popcorn, and ice cream, and occassionally chips.  

I evaluate how I react to foods.   Do I feel energized, or sluggish after eating these?  Do they help me recover?  Do they cause me to feel bloated or poofy?  Do I need to cycle these out and reintroduce later?   How are these foods influencing what is happening within me physiologically? 

I evaluate the level of processing.  I keep getting told that if it has less than five ingrediants or has all-natural ingrediants, it must be good for you.   Granted all-natural and low-ingredient count is definitely better than ingredients  that I cannot pronounce, BUT….. if it is in a box-like-that, it is processed.   I can guarantee that if I bought it in a store (not a farmer’s market) a machine made it.  It is processed.  And so I consider what is the level, and how much processed food I am willing to consume?   It’s a challenge since I do not live on a farm, but in a city.   So I need to find the balance, amd what I am willing to accept and what I am willing to compromise. 


My cousin described it as eating like a gorilla.  Lots of veggies, with some ‘bugs’.    I think it is a great description.  


How would you describe how you eat? 





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Water.  We play in it. We swim in it.  Clean with it.   Run away from it when raindrops are dancing on our heads.  We bathe in it. 


We drink it.    


As some of you know, I do not like the taste of Houston tap water.   It is significantly better when run through a filter.  BUT it is still not my choice when it comes to the water selction.  Normally, I buy bottled water and go from there.   (Yes, I am aware of the environment.  Yes, I am looking into a filter for my tap).  

This week, I ran out of my bottled water.  As a result on Tuesday, I did not drink enough water.   Today, my body is arguing with me.   It is interesting to me how my body has struggled recovering in training because I did not provide it with the water it needed.   And NO coffee is not water.  

I feel like a camel with the amount of water my body has been demanding the last couple of days.   I am certain that it will balance out as the supply outweighs the demand.  


How much water do I drink?   Enough.   (Usually).

But what does enough mean? 

For each of us, it is different.   Based on our activity level that day,  our mass, our environment, and the food we eat, our water needs change.  

Remember some doctor made up the magic number of 8 glasses of water per day.   We may need more we may need less.


Thirst.  Once told that when you feel thirsty, it is too late —— we know that thirst is a pretty good indicator that we need to drink.   A reason we may be told to drink before we eat, (when we think we are hungry) is hunger and thirst are both physically experienced in the throat.  That nagging in the gut may be the extreme of waiting too long to eat.  When we drink water before we eat, we also eat less, or realize that we are not truly hungry.   The body is intelligent.  It asks for what it needs.  We choose to interpret at will. 

Water.  Are you drinking enough? 




Posted in coaching, fuel for training, hydration, water | Leave a comment

Strength —-its individual

I belong to several on-line tri training forums or groups.  Sometimes the groups offer support, share about races, provide virtual high-fives.   Inevitably,  the questions surround strength training routines.  What do you do?  What do you recommend?  And the page flurries with recommendations from various videos to weight training systems.   

And you know what, 

 I am SHOCKED!!! 


I shouldn’t be, but I always walk away from these conversations shaking my head. 



Regardless of the arena, it seems we throw caution to the wind and desire a one-size-fits-all solution to developing strength.   For individuals who are so specific on eating, on resting and all other aspects of training, we sacrifice our underlying training.   


Why is that? Seriously, why do we do that? 

First off, like fueling for training and competition, ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL!   One size does not fit most, actually.  

Programming for strength is as individal as a bike fit.   


Secondly, we like to make it way too complicated.   Simplicity does not mean mindlessness.  It simply means you dont have to run through the woods, around the barn and back through the woods to accomplish the goal.  The programming is designed around you, your goals and your needs. It’s all about YOU


Strength can be incorporated in your daily warm-up routine.   For example mini-band walks, and foot-tap/hip-lock drill before headinf out to run or bike, or medicine ball work before jumping in the pool.   Active movement designed to aid your performance, to prevent injury, to keep you stronger.   Strength can also be a specific training session, building off the previous one, encompassing (again) your goals, your needs, your training, and the time available.   Again, all about you! 

I am not certain why we settle for less, assuming these ready-to-use programs will get us where we need to be.   I am not certain why we don’t invest the time (and/or money) into meeting with someone who can assist you.   Take the time to invest in the strength aspect of your programming.  One size does not fit all.  You are an unique individual.  Your training should reflect that.  

Posted in athletic development, coaching, coaching tri, cycling, goal setting, goals, goals, goals, goals, running, strength, swimming, training | Leave a comment

Coaches Education — A Day With Team MPI

Yesterday, I had the privelege of spending the day with Team MPI as part of their Coaches Retreat.   The retreat was for their coaches designed for continuing education, networking and FUN!   And while I was the only represetnative of an outside coaching family, I was welcomed with open arms.  It was pretty cool to listen to other coaching perspectives, amd realize that regardless of where we are, we all have the same hurdles to clear.   I am grateful for the opportunity to learn, and share.

Presentations included discussions on bike fit, creating blocks of training to meet your athletes needs, metabolic testing (and we conducted a VO2 max test), swim coaching and stroke development, strength training, gadgets for measurement and running,  and some of the psychology of dealing with athletes.   Some was affirmation of my philosophies as a coach, others provided some clarity, and still others showed me I still have a lot to learn.   As I continue to strive to provide you with the best coaching.


The welcome:  I was embraced.   We were all coaches with a common  goal.  Learning and sharing to be better for our athletes.  This is a true testament to the coaching organization they are.

Metabolic testing:  Resting and then a VO2 Max.  (I love the Hannibal look).

I learned about another coaching platform, besides Training Peaks. I am still happy with Addaero, but am open to opportunities. I also learned more about some of the Garmin features, when you are sending me your training notes. I also discovered another watch Suunto, that provides similar stats to the Garmin.

Bike Fit: Some of the math involved. GEOMETRY! Yes, I loved Math and Science in school. Although, I struggled with it at times. Cycling and bike fit is about solving geometric problems. Pretty cool if you ask me! And I am investigating Bike Fit Education, so I can better serve you.

Building a Network: a team of professionals that you can reach out to, from sports medicine to massage to nutrition. I am building relationships for you in Houston.

And Running Gadgets: Using a métronome to develop a faster tempo.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day, and look forward to more opportunities like these to learn.

Posted in coacheseducation, coaching, coaching tri, commitment, community, motivation, networking, seeyouathefinishline, technology | Leave a comment