Transitions…… I say the word and the David Bowie Song…. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!  Pops in my head!   

Ask one of the Otters, and they will tell you how important transitions can be.  In fact,  Clara will tell you how she went from 7th place to 20th place in her last race, because her transition was not the best.   

But what is transtion besides the ‘ATHLETES-ONLY’ space where you get to store your gear during the race?  

Transition is where the change from swim to bike, and then bike to run occurs.   

Transition is the fourth leg of the race.  (Nutrition is the fifth).

With that said, transitions need to be practiced.   (Cat is optional).




If you ask my Otters, we spend a lot of time putting on our helmets and shoes.   We learn to set up transtion so our helmet sits in our shoes (my Otters are not yet wearing cycling clip-ins), so the first thing we do is put our helmet on our head.  We may lay out a towel to dry our feet, and place a hand towel either on top of or beside the helmet to dry off quickly.   Socks, if we are wearing, are placed on top of our shoes.   


So, dry-off, goggles and cap off, helmet on, socks, then shoes!   RaceBelt on, drink some water!  Unrack Bike!   And you are off!  

When returning from the bike:  Rack Bike, change shoes (if wearing clip-ins), drink more water, and off for your run!  


Practice setting up your transition.   What works for you?  What is comfortable? What helps with flow? 

Practice putting on shoes and socks when you are wet.   (Step in a bucket of water, or do this after you swim.  It helps).

Practice drying off and putting on helmets, racebelts and other gear.   

Practice putting shoes on standing up.  Do you tie your shoes or do you have zip-ties?  



Practice running your bike.  How you move in and out of transition while pushing your bike demonstrates your comfort and can help your comfort with the overall race.   I know there are times I overthink things, and fail to flow even when I fumble and make mistakes.  Keep moving onward.  


Transitions do not seem like much, but this can influence your overall race.    Practice to build your comfort and skill for your race.   






Posted in coaching, coaching tri, seeyouathefinishline, transition, triathlon | Leave a comment

Ever wonder about how real your goal is?

Be forewarned this, yes, THIS is going to get personal.  

I want to apologize.  I feel I have neglected you.  (As well as my personal blog).   My focus has been the Otter Tri Team, PINK otters and growth, that somewhere you got lost in the shuffle.   It was my intent to write twice a week…. sharing inspiration, achievements as well as interesting facts….. and being a party of one, it sometimes becomes extremely overwhelming.  And I do not know where to begin.   That said, I think of you often as I share on the FB Page, and IG Account.  And MSJ Athletics, Otter Tri Team and The Pink Otters are growing.   And I am thinking of new ways to better serve you.   In that, I welcome your ideas.  


I want to talk today about goals.   As I am approaching my 51st birthday (August 15th), I am reflecting.   This is something I tend to do each year.  Where am I now?  Where am I going?  Do I like where I am going?  And what do I need to do to change that course or direction?  Sometimes, I like the answers I come up with.  Sometimes, the answers scare me.  And sometimes, I really have no clue.  

It is easy to sit in your chair and advise.   Sometimes, the break from the every day is what I need.  But I find that my body physically hurts if I have not taken action.   My body hurts if I am sitting for too long. 


BUT have you ever come up with a goal?  

Written out the plans?  

Taken the time to invest in the goal?   

And then not acted on it??  

Instead of taking action, you sat down.  

I cannot explain this phenomena, but it has happened.   I am not certain if I am paralysed with fear, overwhelmed with the prospects of success, not diligent enough to put it all together, simply lazy, or the goals are not true to me…….perhaps, not part of my belief system, part of the me that makes me tick.  


 This quote from The Swim Coaching Bible, Volume One, resonated with me.   Are these things I am setting forth to accomplish part of my being?  Do they consume me?  Or is it OK for me to plan and not execute?   The answers to these will provide insights.  Perhaps it sounds good to others for me to be doing these things.  Perhaps, I want to be percieved differently.  Perhaps……..


Perhaps, you can relate. 


And so, I took the time to reflect and plan and determine what it is I really want to do, and what I am willing to ‘give up’ to make these things happen.   And HOW will I feel if I dont achieve or at least put in motion the effort to achieve these thigns?  Or will I see the obstacles?  



The result scares me actually.   Not because these are unattainable goals.  I can achieve these with the diligence and work necessary to make these happen.  I am not willing to walk away.   And so, I need to be willing to stretch my comfort zone.  


I need to be willing to do this for me!  

As I am preparing for the things I want to accomplish at 51, I want to encourage you to join me.  What is it you have been thinking about accomplishing?  What is it that you can taste but are not certain you can make it real?  Please share with me.   I am sharing today, to share my struggles.  While my intentions are good, I sometimes fail miserably.  

Your ambitions do not need to be triathlon related.   I want to know and encourage you. We can work together to expand our comfort zones, and challenge ourselves.  


Posted in ambassador, athletic development, being engaged, caring, celebrate, coaching, commitment, community, courage, flow, goal setting, goals, goals, goals, goals, mentored, motivation, networking, paying attention, planning the day, preparation, running, seeyouathefinishline, starting on offense, swimming, training, trainingtogether, triathlon, truegoals | Leave a comment

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.  

Continue reading

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.  



Posted in #runitforward, coaching, cycling, global running Day, running, seeyouathefinishline, training | Leave a comment

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.  

Posted in ambassador, coaching, coaching tri, commitment, community, goal setting, motivation, preparation, seeyouathefinishline | Leave a comment

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? 





Posted in coaching, cookbook, eating, fuel for training, nutrition, NutritionCoaching | Leave a comment



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