Friday, November 24, 2017

Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something: IMAZ 2017 Race Report

So, I've been very quiet about this race: leading up to it and afterwards. IMAZ did not go the way I wanted but that's how the journey of Ironman goes. There is not a straight path from Point A to Point B. There are obstacles, detours, etc.  This on the that journey. My training was not your traditional training only because my training happens either before or after training/coaching/teaching or sometimes, training could not happen due to work. I am going to keep this short and sweet. Just remember, do not let anyone tell you that you can't do something.

There were 2 factors that I was worried about going into this race: triggering a migraine and the cold swim. Well, the water temperature was 67-68 degrees and I was in a full wetsuit. I was extremely cold coming out of the swim. Something that I was expecting but didn't actually think would happen-I raced with a motherf&cking migraine. Yes, I just said it. My migraine triggered the day before shortly after the practice swim. This was not going to be a good one because this was the type that caused me to throw up. This means hydration and nutrition is all off, especially in dry, hot conditions.

The swim was a rolling start so you seeded yourself accordingly. I finally jumped in the water, did a few bobs and started to s
wim. I had a nice rhythm going out. The water was okay temperature wise, murky as expected and I experienced a few collisions, but nothing that I couldn't handle. Now, let's talk about the back half. There was a chop and the buoys were not in a straight line and I may have inhaled some diesel flavored water (gross). Around this same time, my calves decided that they were going to take turns cramping/seizing up on me. My motto: just keep swimming. I ignored the pain in my legs, the pain in my head and how cold I was getting. I finally saw the finish and I was so happy. That swim took entirely to damn long. Later, I would realize that I swam 4600 yards vs. 4200 yards.

Wetsuit off, glasses taken out of my sports bra and I am running for the changing tent. Once I got to the change tent, I still could not warm up but I was determined to get the hell out of that tent in under 10 minutes. Mission accomplished. All I had to do was put on my socks, shoes, sunglasses, helmet, sunscreen,  drink some water, stuff a larabar in my face and get my bike.

Once I finally mounted my bike, it was go time. I have worked damn hard this year on the bike. We get on Rio Salado and I here/see Angel, Terri, Chris, Von and Shannon cheering me on. Where did this wind come from? You are not suppose to show up until Bee Line Highway. I just thought of the bike as a long as CompuTrainer session with better scenery. Roughly near the 2nd aid station, I was in trouble. Not my bike because I put Beeker back together like a boss, but my migraine was telling me I needed to throw up. F&CK!!!!!! Pulled over, went into the porta potty, threw up, rinsed my mouth out, continued on. I tried to stay on my nutrition and hydration plan but this was not going to be the case. I threw up 3 more times on the bike. No nutrition, no electroytes, no hydration and my throat felt like sandpaper mixed with me gargling with acid. I was not going to give up because I am hard headed and stubborn (I'm a Leo). On the final loop, I was literally racing on fumes. I probably lost about 5+ pounds at this point but I was doing Ironman math in my head and I started smiling because I knew I would make that cut off.  Made the damn bike cutoff and now it was time to attempt to run.

Once I made it to the changing tent, I took off my tri shorts to change into my running skirt and tutu (yes, I finally brought it out to a triathlon), visor, fresh socks and running shoes. Oh, and don't forget the lipstick. I tried to do a 4:1 run/walk but that went out the door because my calf was saying hell to the Naw! I ended up walking. I tried to take in nutrition but it was not going to happen. Ice was my friend/enemy. It felt good but it was hurting my throat. Doing the math in my head, I knew that I was not going to make the first run cutoff but I was going to fight until the end.  I felt like sh$t and mentally, I was not trying to go into that dark place. That place is very scary and no one should open the door their unless it is absolutely necessary. When I was pulled at mile 13, I was not upset. I was actually at peace with everything. I tried my best and my best was not enough for that day. I should have not raced with a migraine, but I never know what will happen or how everything will work out. I am proud of what I did this year especially with dismantling my bike and putting it back together I think 3 times within a week with everything working, tackling a "hilly" course (Chatt 70.3) and just trying to be a better version of me. You do what you can do and then you move on. I am not going to say what will happen in 2018. I am going to be very quiet about it right now. I have a lot of contemplating to do before then. I am moving better except I am still having difficulty walking down stairs and I have a lovely cough/upper respiratory infection going on (pass the cough drops).

So that is it, but I need to thank the following groups/places/thangs:
  • FFC (my place of employment, my home away from home)
  • The #SharkSquad (because Sharks get shit done)
  • #TriMonster and all of the #IronMonsters
  • #BTA
  • #FastChix
  • Howard Logan
  • L & A
  • Southwest Airlines
And everyone else who helped me on this journey.

Peace, Love and AFROS!

Monday, September 25, 2017

A HOT Ass 13.1: The Chicago Half Marathon

I normally post on my Instagram (@fitness724) the number of things that corresponds to the number of miles that we run. Well, I had to finally dust off my blog for this one. Yesterday was the 21st edition of the Chicago Half Marathon ran by the awesome folks at Lifetime Athletic Events. The main mission was to stay in the back and pace my normal posse of  T2 athletes-keep them on pace, make sure they hydrate, eat, watch their breathing and count shirtless men. More about the last one later. Here is how everything went.

This Half-Marathon was brought to you by:
1. A total of 317 Shirtless men! #109 was hot, chocolate yumminess. Trust me on this. Why count shirtless guys? It keeps you from thinking of how hot and humid it was.
2. Heat and Humidity!
3. The T2 quest for Diet Coke!
4. The rainbow at the misting station before the turnaround.
5. Sunscreen, hydration, nutrition and salt.
We were looking good! Photo credit: John Gress
6. Listen to your footsteps. It should sound like a bunny fart. Huh? Ever heard a bunny fart? EXACTLY!!!!
7. The ladies who wanted to hang out with us because we were so cool.
8. Is that a chicken? Is that a Chic-Fil-A Chicken? Ohhhhh, it's a turkey reminding us of the Turkey Trot. I think we should all sign up. We get to turn around now!
9. Creating the rough draft of the new romance novel, "Manathon". One woman's quest for love while running the Chicago Half Marathon. Coming soon to iTunes, Kindle and the next T2EA fundraiser.
10. Running backwards. No, literally running backwards for the last 1.5 miles to keep Janine focused on the finish line. I may have pushed Janine towards the finish line.

 photo credit: Bernard Lyle
11. My fellow Purplehead, Kevin Oldenstedt.
Image may contain: 1 person, beard, sky, sunglasses, outdoor and closeup
photo credit: Kevin Oldenstedt
12. Having a popsicle at the finish line. ABSOLUTELY NEEDED!!!!
13. This BIG ASS MEDAL! Best bling in Chicago!!!!

No automatic alt text available.
.1: Having the pleasure to see all of my returning and brand new athletes to the Half Marathon distance complete the Chicago Half Marathon in less than ideal conditions with smiles (and beers, not me! I had to go into work). In addition, I did give the shuttle bus drive directions back to the Belmont Red Line Station. 

T-minus 12 days for  the Chicago Marathon. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Some reasons that Black Triathletes are under represented in the world of Triathlon

I have been doing triathlons for over 15 years. I have seen in this span an increase in Blacks and just more people of color participating in the sport, however are numbers are still vastly lower that are white counterparts.

According to the USAT Annual Adult Membership for the period ending December 31, 2015, the number of members stood at 116,110. Out of that number, 1.5% identified as Multi Racial;  1.1% identified as Other; 2.1% identified as Asian; 3.2% identified as Hispanic; 88.2% identified as Caucasian/White; and a staggering .5% identified as African American. *

I see 3 main reasons for this low number.

  1. Financial: Triathlon is not a "cheap" sport. When you have factored in the registration fee, USAT membership, a bike, helmet. wetsuit, running shoes, tri suit, training, travel, and this is just the minimum, you are looking at close to $1,000 vs doing a local marathon which would be considerably less since you do not need the extra gear for the bike or the swim. There are ways around this, but this does deter a lot of people.
  2. Skills and Knowledge:  Everyone just about knows how to run or can race walk, but not everyone knows how to swim or actually ride a bike. Even though swimming is a life skill, you would be surprised at how many adults do not know how to swim or ride a bike. Some of it is due to fear-maybe a family member or a friend nearly drowned. Maybe family members had instilled a fear of the water that they never tried to do it. Maybe it is a hair issue. In the case of the bike, maybe the person never had a bike before.
  3. Stereotypes:  Triathlon is a "white" sport. No sport is a race or ethnic group. It is all about changing the perception of the sport. It is a swim, a bike and a run. The more of us who are present at races, the more of us who make it a point to bring someone on the journey, the more of us who decide to become coaches, the more we move that number to .5%

Friday, November 11, 2016

The #IronFitFro is BACK

2016 has been more of a trying year than an interesting year for me. I have a lot of stuff (some positive, some negative) going on in my life but I am now getting ready to turn the page and I am ready for 2017 to get here IMMEDIATELY!

So what has been happening with me? Well, let's start with racing. Most of you know that I do not race that much due to the fact that I work 7 days a week (If you have forgotten, I am a Pilates Trainer/Group Exercise Instructor/Marathon Coach/Triathlon Coach/Cycling Coach/Swim Coach). However, I was able to get some in:

  • Indy Mini Marathon in May: So, I registered for this and was training until I took a really bad fall down a flight of stairs at the North/Clybourn Red Line Station. I ended up with a SEVERE ankle sprain and couldn't run for 6 weeks. Hell, even work was hard as hell but I survived. I ended up doing this race with no real expectations. It was also the first race in damn near 20 years that I wore headphones (a very ratchet playlist for me) because I needed to focus on me. I finished in under 3 hours which I ran non-stop for 10.5 miles. Not bad for not running for 6 weeks. It is always better to run with friends and teammates.
  • Esprit de She Women's Tri in June: I have a confession to make: I do not train for sprints. I was there mainly in the capacity of a coach and cheerleader who happened to race. Why did I do this race? The folks at LifeTime Athletic Events (a lot of my friends) put on a very good race experience for the novice to the seasoned athlete. That is why. 

  • Chicago Half Marathon in September: Oh, since this was the 20th anniversary of this race and I haven't done it in 18 years, why not! I had fun! Way too much fun helping my athletes, friends and random strangers. I even CHICKED my client-that's another story in itself. Tutus fluffed, afro looking fierce, red lipstick popping and fully coordinated. Oh, did I mention that my friends at LifeTime Athletic Events put on another high caliber event? The only bad part about this: I had to go to work after this. Note to self: NEVER, EVER AGREE TO TRAIN CLIENTS AFTER RUNNING A HALF MARATHON OR LONGER! #butthatmedaltho

  • AIDS Run/Walk: Well, I actually led the work out wearing a poncho and bright red lipstick in a downpour. It takes a special type of person to get people out in the grass and mud in the pouring rain to do a warm up. I think I did my job. I was suppose to run the 10k but I said, "Nah, I'm good." I ran the distance the next day.
  • The Chicago Marathon in October: So, I actually don't finish this race. Now that may change next year. The reason that I do not finish this race typically because it is not my race. This race is for my athletes that I coached all Summer long. I normally start at mile 7.5 and go to mile 14, running back and forth making sure that my athletes are good, if they need anything (gels, vaseline, salt, bandaids, saline nose wipes-trust me on this, sunscreen, cheering). But then, I get off the course, jump on the Green Line to get to the Red Line to get off at Chinatown. This is where I jump back on the course until mile 25. And in typical fashion, jumping back and forth where everyone needs that last motivation. I will do what ever it takes to get you to mile 25. Hell, you can crawl 26.2 miles. At the end of the day, I had ran 31.26 miles of the Chicago Marathon Course but in pieces.
Now, what's next? I am waiting for 2017 because here is what it looks like now.
  • Saturday, January 28: F^3 Lake Half Marathon (yeah, I know. It is in the dead of Winter in Chicago)
  • Sunday, February 5: Rock n' Roll New Orleans Marathon (my epic return to the standalone marathon distance)
  • Wild Card: If I do not get into the lottery for the New York City Half Marathon on March 19th, then I will more than likely sign up for the Puerto Rico Half Marathon on March 12th
  • Sunday, April 2: South Beach Triathlon Olympic Distance put on by my friends at LifeTime Athletic events (it's South Beach, why the hell not?)
  • Sunday, May 21: Chattanooga 70.3 (because Sally and Yvette are doing it)
  • Some time in early June TBD: Esprit de She because again, my friends at LifeTime Athletic Events are the organizers
  • Sunday, September 24: The Chicago Half Marathon...just cause.
  • Sunday, October 8th: The 40th anniversary of the Chicago Marathon
  • Brace yourselves: Sunday, November 19th...IRONMAN ARIZONA. We have some unfinished business.
Oh, and did I mention that I am proud to represent Team HERevolution my races next year? Yeah baby!!! And of course Fitletic for my hydration belt needs!!!!

I think that's it for now. Come on 2017!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


It's been a while since I have written a post (long story) but I am BACK!

You may have noticed the title of this post. If you are not an athlete, let me explain what all of these letters mean:
  • DNF: did not finish
  • DNT: did not try
  • DNS: did not start
Why this title and this topic? Let's start with the first one, the infamous DNF (did not finish). This post stems from NOLA 70.3 that happened this past Sunday. The DNF rate for this race was over 40%. The majority of the DNF's were from the swim. There are many reasons that a DNF may occur (choppy water, sea creatures-Godzilla, mechanical failures beyond your control, injury within the race, etc.), but whatever that reason is, please do not, and I must say this again, DO NOT make the person feel bad. I have had a lot of DNF's and in my head, I run through every possible scenario on what I could have done differently, basically all of the "what ifs". The thing about a DNF is you can either learn from it and apply those lessons to the next race or you can let it cripple you.

The DNT: Did not try. I think the description says it all. Why race if you are not going to at least give half a F&CK???? Maybe your friends bullied, I mean peer pressured you into race that you know in your heart of hearts that you are no where near ready for. Sometimes you just have to tell them no. No is a wonderful and powerful word. That is all I am going to say on this.

The dreaded DNS: Did not start. Now, there are plenty of reasons for not starting a race, especially if you are not able to get a refund or transfer it to a friend. Injuries are the number 1 reason why someone doesn't start a race. That person actually was smart and probably knew that if I race, I may make the injury worse. Sometimes travel is a cause. If you are going to a race in another state or even another country, travel delays can happen. You can only wish for the best possible outcome. And then, there is forgetting about a race all together. Say what??? Yes, you read that right! I know of a few friends who completely forgot that they were racing. This is what happens when you sign up for a race a year in advance.

So, what would I rather have? I would rather have a DNF vs a DNT vs s DNS. What say you?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Heaven and Hell - Or better yet, the Great, The Better, The Good and the Downright Painfully UGLY

So, I have been back from Cozumel for about a week now. I've had a lot to think about and ponder. I personally would prefer to be back on the beach.

This picture was the day after in Cancun. Yeah, I wore a bikini. Get over it.
My race didn't go as expected but I had some major positives (the Great), some things that just went right (the better), going with the flow on some things (the good) and the point in the race where I went into a VERY DARK PLACE (the Downright, painfully UGLY). I do not EVER want to go back there, well until the next race.

It was truly Heaven and Hell at the same time. How is that possible? Well, it is. Let me give you all that happened leading up to the race, the race itself and some reflections afterwards.

Thanksgiving morning:
I was out the door at 3:30am to catch the Red Line to the Blue Line to get to O'Hare. Let me tell you, the Red Line is a HOT ASS MESS that early in the morning. If you live in Chicago, you know this to be the God's honest truth. I had a backpack and my suitcase. That was it. I was just so happy running away from below 60 degree, rainy, gloomy weather. I get to the airport and the security line was RIDICULOUS. What the hell?? Ok, I can deal with this. Note to self: Apply for Global Entry before next adventure (Canada). I notice that my flight is on time and I am a happy camper. I boarded my flight (thank you aisle seat), fastened my seatbelt and as soon as we started taxing down the runway, I was knocked out. I normally wake up during cruising altitude. I watched 2 television shows and was just waiting to land.

The minute we landed, the sunglasses went on, the pullover came off (I had on a tank top) and off to Customs. No problem there and now it was time to find the shuttle to get to the ferry. After working my way to Playa del Carmen, I just had to wait for the ferry. Damn, it was hot! No complaints from this gal. I noticed that there were a lot of other athletes boarding the ferry to Cozumel also. How would I know? Well, the various Ironman backpacks, M-dot tattoos and bike cases. Now the water was a little rough so it was interesting seeing the bikes getting loaded on the ferry. The ferry ride was a roller coaster ride on steroids. I do not get seasick, but I had to close my eyes just to get through that ride. As usual, I made friends. I met 2 hot triathletes from Costa Rica and we spoke about the race. I also met a triathlete from Texas by the name of Alex. We waited literally 30 minutes for a taxi, but hey, I had to work on my tan. :) We ended up sharing a taxi ride. Luckily, I do speak Spanish so that helped us both a lot. He came with his bike. Luckily he was going in the same direction as I was to get to the BTA (Black Triathletes Association) Compound.

I was dropped off at the Condo Complex and was shown my new home for the next few days. How did I manage to beat everyone to the house, I have no idea. Think "The Real World", but a little classier. I had to wait for my namesake to come, so I actually had the WHOLE PLACE to myself. I decided to chill because of course, I was tired. Finally, Kendrick shows up after the debacle called "Peanut Butter Gate". You need to ask him about that in his chronicles. Now, this was the first time that we had actually met face to face. Some folks assumed we were married since we have the same last name. Just roll with the punches. It was starting to get late and we were hungry. Kendrick thought it would be great for us to get a scooter to ride around the island. My thought, "Okaaaayyy." We got a scooter delivered to us and we were off. Don't worry, he was driving. We checked out the Mega Mart grocery store which is a Super Target, Super Walmart, Auto Zone and Best Buy all in one on crack. If it wasn't there, it didn't exist. Still hungry, we went to Hooters to eat. Yep! Classy! We ended up meeting with Marq, another BTA member and fellow Midwesterner.

Well, we had to make it downtown to get groceries, check in, attend the course talk and I needed to be reunited with Beeker. So, of course, I see the Ironman sign and I had to take a picture with the M-Dot.

Now, I was not impressed with the expo. I only had to purchase 2 CO2 cartridges and of course my prerequisite visor, names shirt and water bottle. Well, the names shirt was the only thing that I did not purchase because there is no way in hell that I am squeezing in an XS or S t-shirt. Those shirts tend to run VERY small. At the expo, I finally met Tom, another BTA team member. So we putz around and decide to go down the street to the course talk. Course talk was interesting. This was not going to be a mass swim start, but a rolling start as you would in a road race. More on that later. Since this was a 2 transition race (swim to bike in 1 location, bike to run in another location), it gets tricky. Especially since we were going to be bussed to the swim start. The questions of the day, will there be a special needs table for glasses, inhalers, etc. I was told "No". You know what that means? Glasses in my sports bra for the swim. Don't worry, I'm a professional. After the talk, I met with some more BTA team members. The rest we would meet at dinner.

I left and I had to be reunited with Beeker. I went to TriBike Transport to have my pedals put back on my bike. I would pick up my bike on Saturday. Please use them whenever you race! Jared and his team were AMAZING!

Well, Kendrick and I made it back to the house and had some time to rest before we had dinner. Dinner time rolled around and it was time to head back downtown to Senor Frogs for dinner with the BTA crew. This was a total black out! We roll deep.
Now the rest of the night, what happens in Cozumel, stays in Cozumel.

Saturday (the night before IM Cozumel):
Today's agenda was the following:
  • Breakfast
  • Practice Swim
  • Breakfast again
  • Pick up bike
  • Drop off run bag
  • Ride bike to transition 1 to drop off bike and bike bag
  • eat again
  • get off my feet
  • talk to my coach
  • wait for the Beez to land (my partner in crime/friend/Sherpa, Sally Stresnak-she's kind of a big deal)
The practice swim-what can I say? It was everything that they said it was and then some. Since the water was so warm, a wetsuit was not necessary. I wore my Roka swim skin over my swimsuit. I jumped in the water and was amazed at how buoyant I was as well as how clear the the water was.. I was seriously in seventh heaven! It was like "Finding Nemo" and I was Dory. I just love to swim. While waiting for everyone else to finish, I struck up a conversation with a woman from Sweden. It was her first Ironman and her first open water swim EVER. She thought that I was Dominican instead of American because she heard me speak Spanish and just assumed I was. I wished her luck and waited to get back to the house to have breakfast number 2: WAFFLES!!!!!!!! After breakfast, I had to rush downtown to pick up my bike, drop off my run gear bag and then ride to Chakanaab Park to drop off my bike and bike gear bag.

Now, let's talk about riding your bike in traffic in Mexico in the middle of the day. That was some of the scariest stuff ever but I survived. Beeker was working well and I felt good about him doing some work.

While waiting for Kendrick to bring me my bike number (don't ask), I made more friends. 3 guys from Mexico, a couple of Germans, a whole hell of a lot of Texans to name a few. I finally meet up with Kendrick and I was able to find my rack for my bike. Had to take a picture:

I had to continue the tradition. Anyhoo, as always, I want to walk through swim out, to the showers, to the bags, to the bike, to the bike out. I do this at least 4 times. Now, why in the Hell was the women's change tent literally over the border and through the woods??? Then the path from the change tent to my bike was very rocky so I was not going to run it, but walk it instead.
I finally got back to the house and had a video chat with my coach, It went very well and I felt good. I watched another episode of "Jessica Jones" on Netflix and made some dinner. You know, pasta and chicken and then it was time for lights out.

Sunday: Time to go to work
I woke up at 3am and went downstairs to make breakfast, listen to music, stretch and chill. I saw a message that Sally was in the clubhouse so I had to get her. Retrieved Sally and all was good. She took a brief nap while I got ready. Everyone else started to wake up also. We had ordered a taxi to take us to Chakanaab Park. From there, I placed my frozen bottles on my bike of eFuel and my eGels from Crank Sports, I placed my sunglasses in my cycling shoes and dropped off my special needs bag for the bike and run. My bike bag had a bag of Swedish fish, cough drops and sunscreen packets. My run bag had a bag of Sour Patch Kids and cough drops. Once everything was done, it was time to get on the bus to get to the swim start. I got to meet my newest friend, Kendra from Boston and we chit chatted the whole time. I was not nervous at all.

It was so beautiful out, a little warm but that was ok. The first thing I did was head to the porta potty line. As in every race, there is NEVER enough. I went to the shortest line. It was a line of men. Once I was done, I walked over to the busses to drop off my morning clothes bag and found my crew. Of course, we had to take a picture.
Isn't this a great looking group! Once this picture was taken, it was just about time to line up. I lined up with the 1:20-1:30 swim pace. I was not nervous. Let me repeat that, I WAS NOT NERVOUS! While in line, I was speaking with Kim, he is the 2nd guy from the right. Real cool dude! He gave me some pointers on the bike. On the windy section of the bike, don't get my heart rate up. Just know that if you are suffering, everyone else is suffering as well.

Now we were suppose to be in the water in less than 6 minutes. Ummm, 30 minutes later and we are still waiting. I didn't know at the time, but the dock that we were walking down was bowing in due to the weight of the athletes and some folks were either slipping and sliding on the carpeting (indoor/outdoor carpeting anyone?) or cutting their feet and/or hands on the coral. Sooo, they were letting us in 4 at a time. Can we go back to the mass swim start? Anyway, my friend Sally videotaped me starting the swim. Damn! I looked good. Can I just say that this was the BEST open water swim EVER!!! I saw pretty fisheys and coral reefs and oh, there's a buoy! Oh crap, I forgot to start my watch! Oh well. Around half way, I really started to get very warm. That sun is blaring down. Yay for the swim skin. I finally see the final turn buoy and it is a straight shot! Now getting up those damn stairs was a BIATCH! No one was assisting us. My arms were tired but I mustered up the strength and cheered my heart out because I knew I had a DAMN GOOD SWIM.
Swim: 1:43:09ish

Got through the fresh water showers to rinse off the salt, hugged my friend Marq and proceeded to yell for my bike bag in Spanish and made my way to the change tent. Threw on my tri top, compression sleeves, more sunscreen, socks, shoes, sunglasses and helmet and made my way to the bike. 112 miles next on the docket.

The Bike:
I mounted my bike and took off. I knew that the bike would be windy, but F%$k!!!!!!! Yep, windy as all HELL!!! But, I didn't push my heart rate. I stayed between 135-140 bpm. The first 10 miles or so, ok, I got this. And then, BAM!!!!!! I got slapped and disrespected by the wind for a good 12+miles. Oh my GOD!!!!! Keep it steady. I started singing in my head the ENTIRE "Around the World in a Day" album by Prince & the Revolution. I knew I had to this twice more. Going back to make the second loop, I helped a fellow biker. He was on his third flat and had no tube. I gave him mine. I believe in spreading good Karma. He was so thankful. He passed me on the second loop and thanked me immensely. Now due to the wind, I stayed in my aero bars as much as possible. What pissed me off about the bike was there was a SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT of drafting and blocking. I followed the rules. I head towards that half way point to my special needs bag. I was happy for 2 new bottles, a bag of Swedish Fish candy and MORE Sunscreen. Now time for the last loop. Time wise, I'm hustling . I get down in aero and start singing in my head, "8 mile" by Eminem. I start to slowly pass people. Keep moving. More people passed. Keep moving. Did I pass 3 more guys????? Hell, yeah. Get me off this damn bike! Mile 105...7 more to go. I have nothing to lose so I decide to leave it all out on that course. Now here is the problem that I have, I have no depth perception so I kind of went in  little hot. Ooops! But, I did not fall when I dismounted and I had a smile! A smile y'all!
I got off that damn bike and told them they could throw it away! Due to pushing it like a crazy woman, I hobbled on the way to T2. I threw on my running shoes, picked out me hair and walked to the run. The first 2 miles was BRUTAL!!!!!!!!! "Hate it or Love it" was playing in my head so I started to run/walk. I saw some of my fellow BTA members going into their 2nd loop and some more friends that I made on the run. The turnaround! YES!!!!! Hallefreakinglujah.!!!!!! 2.5 loops to go. I make the first loop and I'm on the 2nd. I am hurting! My body is cussing me out in 3 different languages but I keep going. I can do this. I drink some water, I'm dizzy. It's not a migraine thank God. I keep going. Can I tell you how much I DESPISE PEPSI!!!!!!!!! 1.5 laps to go. This sucks! I'm going into that dark place in my head. You don't want to go there. this is where it becomes sheer will at this moment. I'm heading into the final loop and Sally meets me on the other side. She is trying to gauge how I'm doing. I told her not good but I am not going to quit. She reads me some well wishes from friends back home to keep me inspired. I walk, I run, I jog, I cry a little, I walk some more. I eat some pretzels, I drink some water. Sally gets off the course so I wouldn't get disqualified. I keep pushing. I meet some more folks and we are pushing each other. I make the final turn. 4.4 miles to go. I am told that I have 50 minutes to go. I can do this, but at mile 23.5 my chip was taken away. I keep going. I'm calm and I keep going. I meet up with Matt Miller from Base and he was tasked with finding me. He walks with me and keeps me going.  The girls are cheering me on and Matt accompanies me to the finish line which is all but dismantled. 140.6 miles and a big, sexy DNF!!!!!! But I don't care. I'm a little depressed but I just want to get in my flip flops, go back to the house, eat my damn ice cream and take a shower.

Looking  back:
I am actually proud of what I did and accomplished again. I became comfortable on my bike in aero even though it is not a proper fit. I had a wonderful swim. I finished the bike. I made it through this race with only a blister and no chafing! I had fun for the first time. I took time to enjoy myself! I spoke a gangload of Spanish! I did something for ME!!!!!It is no secret, but I am back working out: swimming, running and Pilates. No biking because Beeker is not back yet from his tour of Mexico. The other not so big secret is that I will be back. Not once, but twice for the 70.3 and 140.6. I WILL HAVE A NEW BIKE NEXT YEAR!

  • Sally Stresnak: THANK YOU !!!!!! Words cannot express my gratitude.
  • Fitness Formula Clubs: My employer, enough said
  • Jenny Hayes: my coach. THANK YOU ! THANK YOU !
  • Ed Dailey for kicking my ass each and every Thursday at 6am and the 6am crew
  • CompuTrainer: my entire training was on this
  • TriMonster and Team to End AIDS: I love y'all
  • BTA: including Kendrick (my tri hubbie), Tom, Marq, Lauralyn, Estelle, Shatora, Gwen, Kim, Eilsel, Arvan, Mecca,  Rafeek??, Travis, Shayla, Sabrina and I can keep going on
  • SoleTri Sisters: Including KD and the Ericas
  • Chicago Black Runners: Including the Research Department Alan and King Juan
  • Everyone Else who had my back
It was a long season. A long, lonely season so thank you and just wait until the next episode. #thesagacontinues #Afroenduranceathlete #theironfitfro #blacktriathlete #USATLevel1coach

Sunday, November 22, 2015


At this time next week, I should be on the run of Ironman Cozumel. So, what is going on in my head? A lot of people are really wondering this, so here we go with a word and a song associated with each letter in Ironman Cozumel:

I is for Ironman. It is not a fad, it is not a phase. For me, it's a lifestyle.
"I'm Gonna Be Alright (Track Masters Remix)" - Jennifer Lopez featuring 50 Cent
R is for resilience. This year has been very tough for me personally, professionally and emotionally. I have weathered the storm, hurricane, monsoon and blizzard all wrapped into one with an acid rain added to the mix.
"Rock Superstar" - Cypress Hill
O is for Organized. My life may not be as organized as it should but my workouts were. Get up at 3, on the train at 3:45am, at the gym by 4:45am waiting for them to open up, hop in the pool at 5, get to my location by 7:30am to train clients, get on a conference call at 11, try to snag some food, train more clients, get a strength training session in at 3:30, on the bus by 4:45 to coach a 6pm CompuTrainer class. Yeah, organized!
"Outstanding" - Gap Band
N is for Nutty. You may be nutty if you decide to embark in the world of long course.
"Not Afraid" - Eminem
M is for Miles. Yeah, my last name is Miles and I have put in miles and miles of training. Doing my last name proud.
"Money Maker" - Ludacris
A is for Awesome. Anyone who even toes the line to an Iron distance event is AWESOME! Enough said.
"Alright" - Janet Jackson
N is for New. Cozumel is a new course, new experience and new location for me. The last 3 years I was in Arizona.
"New Agenda" - Janet Jackson

C is for CompuTrainer. I spent a LOT OF TIME in the CompuTrainer studio at The Endurance Training Center. The total amount of hours I think I have done is over, at least 100 hours.
"Controversy" - Prince
O is for Opportunity: Cozumel is my opportunity to prove to myself that I can finish this race.
"Off the Wall" - Michael Jackson
Z is for Zen. Training and just working out in general is my Zen.
U is for Understanding: This is more for friends, colleagues etc. who had to understand that my training this year meant more to me than ever.
"Up Jump Da Boogie" - Timbaland featuring Magoo, Missy Elliott and Aaliyah
M is for Motivation: You have to have the motivation and desire to do this. Without motivation, what and why in the hell are you doing it.
"Music" by Erick Sermon
E is for Early: Early morning workouts and getting a jump start on organizing my workouts and my life week by week. You don't do it early, well you will just fall behind..
"Escape" - Prince
L is for Lifestyle: This is a lifestyle for me. Some may understand it. Some may not. It is not my job to make you understand. Just understand that this is a part of me.
"Lose Yourself" - Eminem

And there you have it. I have less than 7 days now and I'm ready. Whatever happens, I'm leaving it all out on the course. Come Sunday, I become Athlete Number 1433.

The saga continues...