Pain Pathways Cycling Camp!


I spent this weekend in Lewisville at cycling camp with my 14 Pain Pathways teammates for the 2012 bike racing season.  It was really really fun!  We shared a lot of laughs, learned a ton, had fun on our bikes, and ate…well, way too much.  Like Tucson, its so refreshing to be surrounded by a group of women who share a passion for the same things I do.  It reminds me that I’m not crazy.  🙂

The weather could not have been better this weekend for the end of January.  We definitely got very lucky.  It was almost 70 degrees on Friday when we rode and ended up being beautiful today after a chilly start!

Robin Farina lead our camp and she did a great job!!   A non-professional cycling team is made up of people of all abilities so it can be difficult as a coach to be sure the planned workouts and rides are geared towards everyone.  We didn’t seem to have any problems!  My team also really really impressed me with how strong everyone is riding and working together so early in the season.

Friday was a 30 or so mile easy spin late in the afternoon after a few of us arrived.  We ended the evening with some awesome Mexican food from our teammate and Sponsor’s restaurant, Don Juan’s!  They now have three locations and this food was DELISH!

Yesterday was spent pace lining for the most part.  It was extremely windy which actually helped us to keep tight in the pace line and protect each other from the wind.  We rode almost 55 miles at a moderate pace and got some great discussion in before the ride and team work in on the road.  It was great to sit and chat with the whole team for a long time and hear everyone’s goals and why they race.  We also got to meet with our Peppers eyewear Sponsor to pick out our team glasses for next year.  I can’t for the life of me find a picture of them on the internet, so I’ll show you the 2nd pair I chose, as my “casual wear”.

Peppers Sabre Polarized Sunglasses - Toys "R" Us

Today was spent discussing our race schedule for next year before we hopped on the bikes and did lots of fun stuff.  We went to a new development and worked on cornering, sprinting and then ended the day on a long, pretty quiet 3-mile stretch doing attacking and counter-attacking.  So fun!

All in all it was a fabulous weekend.  Thank you so much to Lynn and Michael Berry for allowing us to ransack your beautiful home all weekend and for all the food and drinks!  Thanks to Hannah and Marianne for so much fun conversation and great company as always!  So glad to have you both so close by for this coming season!

I’m off to yoga and then bed before I awake bright and early for my 7am flight to California.  One event of my crazy 10 days…check!  I will try to check in from California.

Gearing Up – Cycling Camp, CA and MD!!


I’m currently psyching myself up for a 10-day whirlwind!

Tomorrow starts 3 days at Pain Pathways cycling camp and I’m very very excited.  Work has been extremely busy so far this year and I’m already in need of a break.  Three days of riding my bike with all of my teammates is just what the doctor ordered.  Marianne, Hannah and I are going to leave Charlotte mid-day tomorrow to get to camp and get a ride in with a few other teammates later in the day.  Saturday and Sunday will include the whole team and lots of discussion, meeting our sponsors, season team race goals, tactics, and, of course, lots of riding.  We’ll work on attacking, counter-attacks, sprinting, lead-outs, etc.  Triathlon camp was great, but we all know I had my “swim anxiety”.  There’s no swimming at cycling camp so no anxiety here 🙂

We’ll be  back Sunday evening just in time for me to unpack, and re-pack for a marathon work trip to California on Monday at 7am.  3 day’s of cycling camp and jet lag…sounds like a great recipe!  Our trip to L.A. and, what seems like every city in a 300 mile radius, will include visiting 12 properties that I have previously, am currently, or soon will underwrite.  As we all know, traffic in L.A. can be terrible, and with the amount of driving we’ll be doing, there’s really no predicting now long it will take to get from one city to the next (Escondido, Anaheim, Riverside, Irvine, Century City, Glendale, and a few more I’m forgetting).  At this point, my “boss” and I haven’t even booked a hotel because we can’t predict where we’ll be!  Training should be interesting.

I return from California on Thursday evening in just enough time to un-pack, re-pack (story of my life) and hit the road Friday to my parents / Baltimore!  I’ve decided to buy a custom made bike from Parvilla Cycle and Multisport…near Baltimore, MD.  Yes, you can get custom bikes here in Charlotte (before like 10 people ask) but I met Stu Waring, owner of  Parvilla, a few weeks ago here in Charlotte and he helped re-fit me on my triathlon bike.  He is phenomenal.  I had planned to buy a Giant Trinity from Uptown Cycles but  Stu was able to take my stack / reach calculations which determined that even the size small Trinity would be about 3″ too long for my reach!   Thank god I met with Stu before writing that check!  Stu and I discussed a ton of bikes while he was here and went over my measurements on Slow Twitches stack and reach profile in order to determine which brand / style bikes would be the best for me.  After about 5 hours with Stu, we decided a custom bike would be best!

So I head to my parents house on Friday to drop the dogs, my sister and her boyfriend off at my parents.  I’ll be up bright and early Saturday to make the drive to Parvilla for my fitting for my custom Guru CR.901!!  I’m OVER THE MOON excited for my new bike, that is built for ME and only me…to MY exact specifications.  I can’t think of anything cooler…yes, I’m a tri geek.  I am still deciding on my final paint scheme but anyone who knows me knows it will be only black, white or gray.  I don’t do colors for cars or bikes…especially red!  I’m 99% sure I’ll do all matte black, and I’m considering a gray “Guru” accent, but that will be decided next weekend.  I’ve already sold my be-loved Kuota that has served me so well for the past 3 years…but one of my favorite clients will be riding her and carrying on her legacy on the NC tri circuit.  🙂

After my bike fitting, I’ll make my way to Glen Burnie, MD to visit with one of my bestest friends Aubrey – also known as logo-designer and website-assistant-extraordinaire.  Aubrey and I have known each other since about 3 weeks after arriving at Elon in 1998 and I can’t wait to see her!  (God, 1998 – 2012.  I feel OLD)!

Blogging might be spotty for a while but I hope to check in periodically and update on my adventures.  Have a great Friday and weekend everyone!

Pink Poison


If someone told me that my day would end with a trip to Urgent Care because a strange bright pink liquid from an unidentified capsule in my pocket had squirted me directly in the face/mouth/eyeball, I probably wouldn’t have believed them.  Do you blame me?

Sadly, that is just how today went.  I have no idea what the object was; I wish I had taken a picture.  Just as I’m walking into a meeting with 2 of my bosses, I reach in the pocket of a pair of pants I recently purchased at Ann Taylor to find the pesky little capsule.  Not  knowing what it was, I lift it a bit closer to my face to further examine.  At about the same time, I pinch in just slightly to determine its texture.

Bright Red Explosion.

Eye instantly burns, stings, waters and aches.  I get a drop of it on my tongue and it tastes similar to what you might expect bleach to taste like.  Disgusting.  My eye hurt too much to worry about the taste is my mouth though.

I attempt to power through my meeting with a tissue to control the watering and conceal the mascara that is now smeared all over my face.  I’m an Ironman, I can handle a little random pink poison stuff in my eye.

Not so much.

Drove myself with a tissue on my eye to Urgent Care.  An hour later, they brought me back and flushed it for about 30 minutes with all sorts of saline and such.  Then the doctor suggested I get a patch to protect it.

What do you think? A good look for me?

I replied to the doctor:  “I’m a 30 year old single girl, I just cannot wear an eye patch.”  He actually belly-laughed AND seems he concurred.

Option B was to hang out somewhere dark for a few hours and put a cold compress on it, re-assess how it felt in a few hours, and get the patch if not feeling better.  Option B please.  I ended up taking a nice nap this afternoon which was great after the dogs decided to wake me up 2 times last night.

I think I will pull through this crisis; the redness is nearly gone, and the stinging is only slight.   🙂  Thanks everyone for checking in!

My Favorite Things


A fellow blogger gave me inspiration for this post (  I love her blog and thought her post about the “things she can’t live without” was great!  So I decided to do my own list of things I can’t live without.

Gamin Forerunner 310x (currently)

I’m very much a numbers girl.  I think I survive on some of my runs simply because I have “data” or something to look at, analyze, think about, etc.  I’d guess this is pretty common with the personality traits of triathletes.  A while back, I had to get my Garmin repaired and had to be without it for about 4 days.  It felt as if someone chopped off my feet.  It was like I didn’t know how to run.  Sad!

Garmin Forerunner 310XT Parent ASIN

Garmin Forerunner 910x (soon to be)

This will change as soon as Garmin releases the Forerunner 910x.  My parents were so awesome to get it for me as part of my Christmas gift!  I cannot wait.  The primary difference between the two devices is that the 910x is much more swimming focused.  Obviously since no one has one yet, the jury is still out on it but that’s what Garmin is suggesting.  The 910x is supposed to capture swim distance, stroke identification, stroke count and pool lengths.  I’m reading the website and it will apparently also compute my “swolf score.”  Likely a swimming term that I should know about – I will get researching.  J

Garmin Forerunner 910XT Series

Giant TCR Advanced SL3

Most of my riding until this past April was on my trusty Kuota TT bike.  I made the plunge in April to buy a snazzy road bike so I could start doing some bike races.  Though riding the TT bike consistently does make you stronger because climbing hills on it is much different than on the road bike, I LOVE my new road bike.  It was probably my favorite purchase of 2011!

Nike Stuff!

I bought my first pair of Nike Tempo Track Shorts in 2002 when I was training for my first ½ marathon.  I still have that same pair, they’re still in perfect condition, and I think I have since bought about 45 additional pairs.  These Nike Filament Tights are also something I couldn’t train in the winter without.  I have a whole drawer full these, I love them so much!  Very comfortable, reasonably priced and last forever.

Speedo Vanquishers

It took me about 2 years to find a brand and style of goggles that I love!  Everyone’s eye sockets and such are shaped differently and it took me forever!  I’ve never had a leak in these and they fog much less than other goggles I’ve had in the past.  They make all colors, clear, and mirrored and they’re less than $20!!

Training Peaks

As I stated in #1, I’m a numbers girl.  Training Peaks is right up my alley.  I almost treat it as my workout journal and am pretty diligent with my logging details.  I still can’t figure out if Stacey appreciates it.  J



I’ve been an e-Gel  user for almost 2 years  now and I can’t say I’ve had any bad experiences with it – as I and lots of other people have had with many other products.  Vanilla Strawberry Slam is the cats meow, Tropical Blast takes 2nd in my book followed by a tie between Cherry Bomb and Mountain Rush.  They contain 150 calories, 230 mg of sodium, 85 mg of sodium and most importantly, are easy on the stomach and taste great.

Honey Stinger Waffles

I haven’t been using Honey Stinger Waffles but for about 6-7 months but I’ve grown to LOVE them for long bike rides.  It’s great to put some solid food on your tummy after all of the gel and they are SO delicious.  I could eat them as a snack any day of the week, and in fact,  I certainly have!   With 160 calories and 55 mg of Sodium, they’re a great mid-ride snack!   I order mine very cheap from Uptown Cycles – you should too!


Though this is also a new one to the list, I can tell it’s gonna be a long time friend and staple.  I have made tons of breakfast, drinks, soup and recovery drinks with this thing already!  I just love it.

Pearl Izumi P.R.O Lobster Gloves

Since it’s winter, I figured I’d add in the only reason riding in the winter is tolerable for me below 40 degrees!  My lobster gloves are amazing, keep my hands totally toasty warm while still allowing me proper control over gears and brakes.  If you ride, and you ride in the cold, and don’t own a pair of lobster gloves, save your pennies and invest!

I think that about wraps up my “staple” items!  Happy Monday to everyone.

My Early Blogging Days


I have been feeling nostalgic today and reading through the first blog I ever did which recapped my journey to Ironman Arizona – my first Ironman in 2009.  It’s crazy to think how little I knew back then and how much my life has changed since!

It feels like just yesterday as I read my recap of the race – its still so fresh in my mind.

It’s also giving me that last little boost of motivation to tackle one more Ironman!  I’ve been teetering but this is the final push.  I will register in the coming months – and believe I’m leaning towards Ironman Coeur d’Alene (June) or Ironman Canada (August) in 2013!  Its really far away but I have no doubts time will go quick, like it always seems to do, sadly.

I’ll wrap up short-course  Nationals this October, take a few months to chill out and fully recover from the long season, and then start training hard around the following March/April.  I’m ready!

Swimming and Running


I sure have done a lot of swimming and running lately.  It’s been fun and I do love the challenge of both, though it can be mentally tough at times to focus on your “limiters”.   I’ll refer back to the question I’ve asked before:  am I really a good triathlete if 2 of the 3 sports are my limiters?  The jury remains out on that.

I’ve been working with Justin Andrews, a phenomenal swimmer and great instructor, for the last few weeks to continue to work on my swimming.  Like most “non-swimmers”, I need to continue to work on my “high elbow catch” as well as “getting my hip out of the way” of my propulsion.  The later is an “expression” I’ve never been specifically taught but the concept of it makes complete sense to me and I can feel a huge difference in my stroke/speed when I focus and actually get my hip out of the way.  Justin also took great video of me and I was able to see just how much my elbow drops, despite me feeling like I’m keeping it up.  It’s quite a concept to master and it will certainly take time, but I can feel the change that I need to make which is the first step.   I’m delighted to be working with Justin for the next several weeks – he is great!

I am planning to run Quintiles 1/2 marathon in March and it’s my “A-race” of the early season.  I have a pretty lofty goal in mind that I’m still not 100% sure will be achievable but I will continue to focus and see how it pans out.  I’ve run both the full and the 1/2 on this course in the past 2 years so I’m hoping that works in my favor.

I’ve had some great training runs in the past couple weeks – and definitely one or two not so great.  My most long run included 3 x 1 mile, 2 x 800 and 1 x 400 on the track mixed in.  I’ve done track workouts and long runs galore, but have never the two combined.  Apparently that’s “what the big girls do” according to Stacey.  🙂  It was…interesting…and successful for the most part.   Given my tendency to over-stride with my 34″ long legs when I get tired, I’ve been heavily focusing on my cadence and stride length for the past several weeks.  Given the changes to my stride, I’m engaging a lot more glute, which in turn has caused my muscles to fatigue much more than I’m used to.  A little work on the foam roller, a visit or two to Dr. Greenapple and sitting nightly on my Newdle, and I’m feeling ready for tomorrow’s long run.  I will update on how that goes!

This weekend will be my last calm weekend in a few.  I’ll be heading to cycling camp with my Pain Pathways team next week, to Cali for work for the whole following week, and then to Baltimore as soon as I get back from California to get fitted for my new CUSTOM bike!!   I can hardly wait!!

Have a great weekend blog followers.  🙂


CK Multisport Logo is Complete!


Thank you to one of my greatest and most talented (patient) friends Aubrey Matulevich, I am now presenting the CK Multisport Coaching logo!

Without further ado…

I can’t tell you how excited I am to have something of my very own to work on, grow as I chose or chose not, and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Visit for more of Aubrey’s amazing design and art work. Stay tuned for more info from CK, especially the launch of my website to come!!!