Monday, October 31, 2011

Rockin in St Louis

Back on the #RnR series, I picked up this race on whim. When I asked my coach if I could do it, I could hear her mind punching numbers...thinking I was crazy especially when I was planning a marathon on Nov 6. "It's possible" and that's all I need. (I think she knew I would do it anyways, just had to figure out how without getting injured.

I actually had already bought airfare and had a hotel on reserve so it was just training. I had presented this to my coach in Mid august. I'm living in Phoenix where the temps still at 5 am are 90* and she forewarned me about the double training cause this training would be during my triathlon training.

I managed to get it all down and was doing a run/walk at various time lengths due to IT band issues. So that was the plan for the race: run/walk it as I have been and if I felt that I could run the last couple of miles..DO IT.

Step back..taper week. My coach wanted the long run done on Sunday than flat out rest remainder of week. Um...yeah...My week actually went: Run Sunday, work Monday, Tuesday (13 hours cardiac RN) Wednesday (nada), Thursday work, and Friday fly to STL. Not really a taper since I've figured out that I walk 5-6 miles daily at work.

Catch an early flight out of Phoenix to St Louis and get to the hotel to sleep a bit. Did a short run in the "cold" weather and checked out the expo. A friend was suppose to be staying and racing with me but had a family emergency so it was just me this weekend.

Saturday I laid low. Had a slight cold so I was taking cold medicine, watching football, and sleeping. It was after all a vacation for me.  I got out all my race gear, laid them out, got my gear check bag situated and fell asleep.

The bonus of race times at 7:30, you don't have to get up until 6am. YES!!!! So I did, got all bundled up and walked to the starting area. I could already feel the energy. This was St Louis's 1st #RnR and they did a pretty good job.  Dropped off my stuff, ate another half banana, and found where I was suppose to be.

#RnR are a blast. Bands every mile, cheer squads, and there is always Elvis. I really enjoyed this race. I didn't like all the hills I had to conquer but I tried to keep on pace. I probably would have hit my goal had I not walked up 2 hills but I really didn't feel like dying over them. I stuck to my plan up to mile 11. I had to dig deep to keep going. Right around mile 6, I hit a mental wall of "what were you thinking". Mile 11 passed, then 12 and all I kept hearing was the "you're almost there" or "the finish line is right there"  I kept saying where, where cause I was cramping bad; luckily I ran by a med tent with salt tabs grabbed 3, downed them with a little water and pushed on.

I managed to pick up a runner who just stopped running; got him up and running to the finish line. He thanked me-I was his first half marathon. I sure hope he had a blast.

I love the #RnR series. I may run with my ipod but I still hear the bands, crowds. It's an experience that I keep coming back to.

So what's next? #RnRSV half (yeah I changed it), #RnRAZ 2012, OD in Feb, and HIM end of April.  I can't wait.

Sprint Re-cap's been awhile since I first posted the beginning of my triathlon venture. It's called life. So back to the race.

I woke up at 4:30am and I can say that I really didn't sleep well that night anyways. I was afraid that my alarm clock would fail or even worse, I would sleep through it :(  It went off and I got up; ate my normal PB and J on bagel with banana. I knew that this race I would be going all out. I had already set up my transition area the night prior and had it packed. So I grabbed my bag, bike, extra water and out the door I went. I was only 5 minutes from transition and it was a quick walk cause it was cold (for me).

True to the sport, the company around me was very helpful. I was so nervous. There were the obvious top competitors-Vineman, Oceanside and then the newbies who rolled in on the beach cuisers (that was cool). Still being dark I set up my transition area-luckily that got an end spot right on the bike out. Couldn't miss my bike. Set up, wetsuit on, and the walk to the starting line (which wasn't fun being all stony and barefooted)

Being Sept 11th, the National Anthem was sung by a military personal who was overseas during that time. Very moving and, yes, I did shed tears. As the ways started into the water, everyone got to cheer each on. When it was my turn, I knew the instant I hit the water, a toasty 68*, that my swim was going to be difficult. Treading water trying to stay warm, I couldn't keep my feet from cramping; as the gun went off, I tried to kick and all I felt was constant cramping in feet and up my calves. Welp-plan B: pull the whole way and I did. First OW and I pulled the whole way. That was an experience in itself. This, though, was the best 400 yds time that I posted to date.

Coming into T1, I was totally off balance. I had some motion sickness from the waves (dramine next time) and couldn't think. So T1 I took a little longer to recollect myself and head. Thanks to @crittermedic, @kgirltris, and @indianabackdoc, I had my bike setup all coordinated. Grabbed my bike and off I went.

Bike: Um..they will have to re-do this part. It just isn't fun to have ride over them at a 45* angle ON padding, coming down a hill,  to hopefully prevent crashes. I saw many "top" competitors walking back with their pricey bikes and many visiting the ambulance that was purposefully placed there.  Otherwise it was a good ride. There is a photo of me with "deer in headlights" look. My coach and I laughed.

Run: For me T2 was easy, drop bike and helmet, and go! And I did, at the fastest I could. This is a sprint, so you're going to push yourself. I did to a pace that I hadn't seen in a year!! :) But I felt it every step, in every breath. I walked only 2x for maybe a minute but once I crossed that finish line, I was done. Luckily, my friend @tipcan was there to rescue me and help me out.

I had a blast and plan to continue the triathlon experience. I PR'd the 5K. I will always remember this race, this day, and all the aches, pain, tears, joy that I felt. It was so worth it.

swim:400 yrd-13.18
bike-9.2 in 40 min

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

For my grandpa: Thank you
For my cousin: my God be with you and watch over you while you are overseas
For all: Thank you for protecting us, serving. Words can never say enough

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Weekend in San Diego

Since May, I had made the choice to attempt a triathlon. I knew that it would be in September sometime, just not which weekend. As long as I started with the base building for that time being, when the event would actually take place wasn't a huge deal. I knew that I was going to be doing the sprint distance (400 yd swim, 10 mi bike, 5k run). As the time approached, and might I add, my contract on my current floor near end, I was forced to pick a weekend. I literally had 3 hours to pick a weekend, not really a race for my event (I owe that one to my recruiters ). The weekend-Sept 10-11th. I had no idea if there was going to be a race that weekend, I just hoped since I was granted that weekend off without a problem.

Luck had it, there was a triathlon in one of my favorite cities-San Diego!!! And what better way, in my mind, to remember Sept 11th but with a new beginning for me! So I trained all summer in one of the hottest summers on record for Phoenix.  As the date got closer, I got more nervous-I was having problems with my IT band and fatigue. There were times of doubt-I didn't even know if I'd have a wetsuit to race in. Luckily, Desoto got mine returned to me right before I had to leave!

So every time I go on a race-cation, there always seems to be some kind of drama. No different here. I got up Friday morning, tied up loose ends around my apartment, packed up my car and headed out to San Diego. I've seen alot of desert and this drive just added more to it. Flat, sand, and boring. I was so excited to see the mountains hence the other side meant San Diego. I got into the city right before rush hour (just like I planned) and drove to my hotel. Upon arriving, I noticed that the area was really run down with bars on the windows, including the hotel-NEW HOTEL

Text my good friend Tip @tipcan for some help to find the host hotel for the Tri Rock event. The Hilton it was; via phone, he managed to get me there safe and sound. I quick ran in to see if there were any open spots and I got lucky. I would have a place to sleep-thank goodness. Unpacked my car, headed up to the 29th floor to unwind and catch with @kgirltris and @coachprs.  We talked about the race and my goal (which for me was just to complete it). I set up my transition area and bike that night and called it a day. My brain was tired.  I'd have all day Saturday to do whatever I wanted.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Never Forget

As I get ready to race my first triathlon, I just wanted to say that I will never forget. I race in memory of those who died, those who lost loved ones, and for this country...a country that continues to heals.

God bless

Training with...

Have you ever planned a trip to stay with a friend? I'm sure..Now how about a friend you haven't seen in years but kept in touch with? Sure! Finally, a trip to train and visit your coach 3 timezones away-coach/friend and husband you met in Jan at a race and have remained in touch thanks to twitter, training plans, email, and phone calls? Not many of us get that if we have online coaches.  Well..I did that. In July..4 days training and spending time with my coach @Kgirltris ( coach with Team PRS Fit), husband @indianabackdoc and their kids. It was a lot of fun, filled with chaos and adventure but it was something that I needed.

So my adventure started with a red eye flight after work into Louisville where Kristine met me at the airport and hence begins the adventure. All smiles and hugs, I hadn't seen her since the #RnRAZ in January but it's like nothing had changed. Headed off to make a quick stop to see her husband aka Doc at his clinic and then back to their gorgeous house where I met their wonderful kids. was nice to be around family and people again. Being a traveling nurse, I travel and live by myself. its difficult to establish friends at many places cause the staff knows that you probably will be leaving in 3 months.

First stop was the pool. This particular training was to focus on my entrance into the tri world. "belly button to the wall," "Glide" I think Kristine's hand gestures made this much easier for me to understand than just being told over a training plan.
After about 900 yds and a couple of complete flipped circles, we called it a day.

For anyone who knows Kristine and Doc, they follow a clean way of eating/way to nutrition. So for the next 4 days I would be introduced to a better, healthy way of eating to keep my energy levels up and help my training. The next day was looking at my running. I was nervous about this cause I thinking that I had been doing something wrong. Turns out.  I had been wrong. The only thing that I really needed to work out was "popping" my knees, looking forward, and hands at the hips-military style if you wish with elbows tucked in. Wow was I surprised!! Just a couple of weeks and I'm good to go.
Next we did some OW swimming with @abbazabba81-yep needed this practice since all of mine had been in a pool. The water was hot but that was ok. Great to be out practicing with others what I needed to get done.

Day 3 first we (adults) all headed to the gym. Kristine and I went through a killer weight workout. I truly miss my weights but with this being my first tri, I've been focusing alot on the bike and swim. It was a fun routine and great to have a workout partner again. So next, was headed down to the Ohio river for some just plain fun. Yes, it was hot so it was nice to be in the water just hanging out...talking..taking photos. It was a great way to end my days in the humid, hot midwest summer.

My final day was rest and just talk. Good 'ole girl and coach talk. I needed a rest. I swam not sure how much while I was there and had a blast. I was sad to leave as I was reminded of was great people they are (and their kids). My point: If you have an opportunity to train with your coach, DO IT. If your part of a team that is online, go visit. I'm sure that your coach would be glad to have you. I learned alot and will do it again. ;)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Back on my feet

Today was my first run OUTSIDE since I was sidelined in May due to dehydration. Let me just say, it felt awesome!! I was nervous attempting this because I really didn't want to become dehydrated from the heat again. I have spent the past month concentrating really hard on drinking close to a gallon of water daily, plus electrolyte supplements, and rest. With all that said, I decided to attempt it.

Alarm clock went off at 5am and I crawled out of bed. Checked the weather and it was already 72*. Well, better get my but cracking cause it's only getting hotter as the minutes pass. Out the door and drove down to an area about 2 miles away. There's the water Chanel and then a shaded street that's all packed trail, which I love. Since re-dedicating myself to training, that has also meant to heart rate training. So me, Mr Camelback, and my HR monitor all adventured out at 545am.

It felt good to be outside running again. All the friendly hello/nods from others out early to beat the heat. Felt like I was accomplishing something. I've spent the last month inside training, afraid of the heat; trying to get used to it (and its only going to get hotter as summer approaches).

I've learned to really focus on my breathing, which helps keep my HR under control; also keeps the rest of my mind in check with my body, even with my ipod on.  This has been the longest distance I've ran and I'm so happy. I don't feel dead. step forward toward becoming a triathlete and marathoner (again).


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The run

The run. It can be empowering. It can be a time of peace or time of chatter with friends. It can make us stronger and it can also break us down.  It can give us positive feedback on our bodies.  Its a time when you can hear your heart beat, feel your feet hit the ground with each step, your lungs expand with each breath. 

And then it happens. Your body decides to rebel.  It decides to make training difficult, delays training, pushes back training, or even can pull you from your planned races.  That's when things get rough.  You want to keep going, and you will because you're a runner.  But then your body rebels even more.  Stretching, long warm ups, foam rolling, foam rolling, drills but nothing seems to be helping. Idea: maybe some type of cross training will help.  You try for a couple of weeks but that's a no go.  So then there's an idea of possibility of switching sports for the time being

The run. It's an awesome experience. Yet you have taken a toll on my body.  You have forced me to pull out of two race this year already. I have dabbled in biking and swimming as cross training and learned to love it. Therefore, I am turning to the Triathlon. It's not that I am forgetting you, dear Run, as I will meet you again in November in Savannah. But for now, it will be better for my body and will give me a different challenge. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

ABC's of Me!!

So I saw this post on Run Courtney Run's site. I changed it a little and thought it would be a great way for y'all to know a bit more about me :)

•(A) Age:  31

•(B) Bed Size:  Queen (currently)

•(C) Chore You Really Dislike:  Cleaning

•(D) Divorced:  Yep

•(E) Essential Start To Your Day:   breakfast and sometimes coffee

•(F) Favorite Color:  Pink

•(G) Gold or Silver:  white gold

•(H) Height:  5'6"

•(I) Instruments I played:  Flute and violin

•(J) Job:  Registered Nurse (currently traveling RN)

•(K) Kids:  Maybe someday??

•(L) Live:  Umm..all over the country for the last 2 years

•(M) Mom's Name:  Doreen

•(N) Nicknames:  none

•(O) Overnight Hospital Stays:  Several unfortunately

•(P) Pet Peeve:  Lately, when I'm told that I need to know Spanish because the majority of my patient speak it

•(Q) Quote:  Carpe Diem!

•(R) Right or Left Handed:  Right

•(S) Siblings: Younger brother, 29

•(T) Time You Wake Up: If I work 5:10am, otherwise whenever my body wants to; lately 6ish (am)

•(U) Underwear: That's for only someone special to know ;)

•(V) Vegetable You Dislike:  Brussel sprouts

•(W) What Makes You Run Late: Traffic

•(X) X-Rays:  Chest, head, full body

•(Y) Yummy Food You Make:  Apricot chicken

•(Z) Zoo, Favorite animal:  well I really love dolphins


Monday, March 7, 2011

Just not a runner

I get asked numerous times what is a traveling nurse so here it is and why I chose to take on this adventure for 2 years.  A traveling nurse is basically just that-nurse that travels across the country (if he/she chooses to) at 13 weeks assignments for a recruitment company.  Hospitals use "us" to fill in needs, especially in the the south during the winter months aka "snowbird season."  That's basically it. I probably have been one of the more adventurous ones as I have taken with me my car and we have gone from Coast to Coast to Coast. And she is still running strong!  I have been living out of a suitcase(s) for the last 2 years which is very interesting.  So why would I want to continue to do this? I'm constantly wondering where am I going next and it is stressful, so why? Well...

Places I have been/seen
1) Grand Canyon 2) Santa Barbara and Oprah's house 3) 13 weeks spent 50 feet from the ocean(and I'm from WI!) 4) Made friends from across the nation 5)Lived at 6000 ft for 6 months 6) Made it to RI, CA, NM, and AZ as places to visit 7) Got to see celebrities up close and in person 8) Learned how nursing differs across the country 9) Quickly got over my fear of flying      10) Own frequent flyer miles with every major airlines and use them 11)Got to go jet skiing in NOVEMBER!! 12)Rode a tram for miles up to 10,000 feet to overlook Albuquerque,NM. 13) Seen how much more athletic people are in the South them at home and it makes me sad 14) New York City!! 15) Biosphere 2, Tucson 16) Taos, NM 17) need I keep going...

What has it allowed me to do:
Not only do I travel for my career but I also travel for running. So I might have been in California but ran in Las Vegas for instance.  I have gotten to travel from almost free to New Orleans, San Diego, Las Vegas, Chicago, LA, and Seattle all because of my career.  I go "home" to see family and friends almost every 6 weeks so I get lots of frequent flier miles which I cash in on other flights.  It's been awesome.  It has also allowed me to grow greatly as a person. I have to rely on myself only.   Accident-figured it out. Deathly sick-get yourself to the Urgent care. Learn to navigate thru numerous different cities thanks to my GPS system!

I love my career.  Now I have a decision to make if I want to stop traveling and plant some roots for a bit.  De-stress and get involved in some things that I want to do but can't because I travel.  Will it hinder my running and traveling.  Nope.  I already have a plan for that one.


Monday, February 28, 2011


I'm a registered nurse.  I take care of cardiac (heart) patients and everything related to that.  So yes, many of my patients come in with chest pain; I also take care of a lot of patients who have hyponatrium (low salt), dehydration, syncope (fainting) etc.  I also am an athlete currently training for a half marathon at the end of March.  So with the two combined, you would think that I know enough about the importance of hydration and the consequences that will occur if not done right.

My days at work are 12 1/2 hours long but more like 13. LOTS of walking, 75% on your feet, little time to eat lunch (15 minutes if I'm having a good day) and bathroom breaks....So drinking water becomes a challenge when I'm on the floor and spend little time at the nurses station where drinks are only allowed.  This past week, half was spent in WI (my home), flew back to Tucson on Thursday and then spent Friday thru Sunday working. 

Flying just dehydrates one period. So i made sure I bought the largest bottle of H20 I could find after security and finished that on the plane.  Came home to sleep, then run, then to bed.  Friday....5:00 am the alarm goes off. Drank 8oz of water with my breakfast, had the 20oz G2 at work and that's where it gets fuzzy.  I remember eating glasses of ice with water but I don't remember how many.  Early Saturday am I got up to use the bathroom.  I remember thinking, "wow, my legs are really wobbly."
Next thing I know, I'm crashing into the closet and on the ground. Yep, I have passed out.  Now, I always tell my patients, sit at the side of the bed and make sure you're not dizzy before getting up. Yeah...I didn't listen.

I went into work the next day and had my charge nurse check my blood pressure-it was low, lower than normal.  So I began to drink. Drank my G2. The next thing I did was set my alarm on my watch to go off every hour.  When it went off-as long as I wasn't in an emergent issue, stopped into the nurse's station and downed a glass of water.  A quick 2 minutes (and piece of mind)

My point-do what you need to maintain adequate hydration, especially being an athlete.  For me it's setting the alarm on my watch at work.  I don't have an issue with my water intake while I'm off since I'm glued to my Nalgene bottle.  Also, though, make sure that you are replacing your electrolytes. If you become over hydrated, you can also run into other issues that can potentially land you in the ER (not to scare you).  I really don't want to see you on my cardiac floor; I'd rather see you at a race!!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day

So as Valentine's Day approaches, I decided to blog about that. These past couple of days have not been easy for me. As some know, or just saw, my boyfriend decided to end our relationship via email. Now this was a person whom I thought I was going to marry and be with. I was willing to sacrifice weather and a move back to a state that I REALLY dislike to be with him. And in one email, one click, he decided that it was over. Obviously, things could be worse..a death or divorce..but those who have been where I stand can understand. I was and still am crushed. It's now Saturday and the reality has finally hit me that I am single again and he has totally blocked me from his life; he doesn't even want to discuss it when I return home in 5 days.

I have received a world of support from friends/runners on twitter whom are my family (I'm in AZ right now and base is WI). One stated "he's not man enough to say it to you in person." Another, whom I've held numerous conversations with, thought he might come around aka grow some balls and step up to the plate-yea that didn't and won't occur. That person also helped me understand some of myself like I first come off as intimidating to a weaker person but that is a great trait to have. I'm still processing that one. Others said "your better off" or "focus on yourself and find yourself" or " I deserve better and I'm strong enough to move on".
To each and everyone who made one of those comments, thank you.

To Valentine's Day, I just don't like the day. It's 2 days before my ex-marriage wedding day and I have never had a good experience with the day. Not a good date or something with a relationship goes wrong. Case in point. So cheers to all those happy couples out there celebrating this happy day. For the rest of us, I propose a toast-to being single. It may not be all fun a games but we are only accountable to ourselves! Cheers to all


Saturday, February 5, 2011


It's only 5 days into February, so it's not too late to say this: My goals for this month. My overall focus, though maybe selfish, is on self improvement.
1)Always have my Nalgene water bottle with me. I can't tell you how many times I have forgotten it for work and come home so dehydrated that it isn't funny.
2)After each run, practice forefooting drills. I just saw, and heard stories of a teammate of mine, @KGIRLTRIS, and her strides she made this week up in Denver.
3)Keep my stress level as low as possible. I just spent January de-stressing it. My job is stressful enough-working with patients that are ticking time bombs..enough said
4) Take the Personal Trainer cert test on February 20th to make that goal come true!
5) Learning to re-accept myself as it is. I think Pink's F***ing Perfect could possibly be replayed everyday

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

PF Chang Marathon

Let's rock and roll baby!! Actually, I didn't run this race but had the awesome opportunity to work one of the med tents at the finish line. First, lets back this whole thing up to Saturday where I managed to meet a whole bunch of twitter friends from across the country. @dragonflytweet, @indianabackdoc, @KGIRLTRIS, @funegrl262, @LJ3000, @MissJewels212, @aimeespencer, @sarahstanley, @bedmadthen, @azrunningman, @britishbulldog, @allyspeirs..i think that is all. I know it was quiet a few; some at Starbucks and then some for dinner at Thia Elephant. All and all, Saturday was a blast talking and hearing stories of transformation, encouragement, and determination.
Sunday: Big day for all who where running. Beautiful day, cool start temps with the sun out around 9 am. Congratulations to all that ran, finished, was great race, run right, with the right people. I had a lot of fun working in a tent fun of many pharmacy students, MD, 3rd year medical student, and a Pharmacist. Lots of interesting things to be seen, stories heard. Now my two cents:
1. After running a marathon/half marathon, please remember to re-hydrate, eat more than just 2 oranges. You wont be okay. You will be on your way to see me, dehydrated, confused, and sent to the hospital.
2. When on the course, drink more than just water!!! Your sweating out all the electrolytes in your body. If you can't drink the course mix, bring your own. Otherwise, again, Check Spellingyou will be on your way to see me.
3. After the race, get the heck out of the sun. You just exhausted your body; pushed yourself to the extreme and need to relax. If you do choose to hang in the sun, make sure to continue to re-hydrate or *surprise* see ya at the med tent.

I would like to thank @runrockandroll for a very well run event. I can't wait to volunteer at my next one. Even better, run my 2nd marathon in Georgia!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2011 Goals

So this year I have decided to make a few with running and my personal life. Things last year got blown off with running due to my work schedule, traveling due to work, and being sick. I also have lost touch with my friends which I will try to amend.

1. To find local races in the areas that I am going to be at. This will take planning on my part but it can be done.
2. Continue with my cross training with p90x/turbo fire/rev abs. These programs have kept me going when I haven't been able to run and also saved me the expense of finding another gym. All I need is dumbbells and resistance bands that travel with me
3.Master goal of doing a Half Ironman this year...TBA
4. Attend local training camps wherever I may be on running etc to help my improvement and gain more information

1. Find a success partner to hold me accountable to my new biz
2. Read 6 books this year...that will be a REAL challenge on my part.
3. Reconnect with friends via phone calls and letters (yes, snail mail)
4. Continue to work on my long distance relationship with my boyfriend in WI
5. Attempt to find a permanent job in WI!!

The main thing that will help me is finding that success partner. I think everyone should have a success part-for business, workouts-it goes a long way!