Thursday, August 7, 2014

Where did the summer go?!

The last time I remember really wanting to blog was about a month ago- I'd had an awesome week leading into the 4th of July and wanted to share all the fun but then I got sick which left me wanting to do absolutely NOTHING and then a week later I got sick again! It started with an ear infection which led to a nasty cold, or likely flu, thanks to my genius idea to run in the rain in downtown San Lucas as cars whipped by drenching me with dirty street water like Shamu at Sea World:(

It's crazy we're already into August and only 6 weeks out from Cozumel 70.3! I'm very happy with the way things are going balancing training, work, and life. It's not that hard when you live in a place that gives off vacation energy 24/7. My back still gets tight, still hurts on some rides, but I've come to make peace with it and more or less know how to manage it. Luckily we have a fabulous massage guy, Chris Vincent (, and he introduced me to Dr. Green of Vital Balance in San Jose, who I'm pretty confident can get me back in the game- at least finishing another Ironman in a year or two pain free. Fingers crossed!

Late June I headed up to La Paz and raced a half marathon- it was one of the coolest half's I've done! I stayed at the Perla Hotel right on the coast, or Mallecon, and jogged to the start where I met up with some of the peeps from Cabo. I felt fit, and though not rested, I was shocked at my time for a hilly hot course in 1:36 given the Kenyan that won went 1:31. My friend Miriam clocked 1:32 for second female, I finished 4th and still got some dough:). Got a great meal on the beach waiting for the awards and drove home at a steady 100mph on that fantasy highway 19 hehe.

At this point, I just want to qualify for Austria Worlds 2015 in Cozumel. I've been obsessed with The Sound Of Music since forever, and never felt inclined to race Clearwater or Vegas 70.3 Worlds, but the hills are alive in Austria just screaming my name.

Anyway, prior to the two bouts of illness, I met a wonderful family that vacations in Cabo- the dad, his son, and his son's friend were in town a few days to get in some surfing. We were introduced by another realtor I work with as we were planning a girls night to dine at The Market's wine pairing in the One & Only Palmilla. We stopped by the guys' house for a cocktail and that led to a group of about 10 of us heading to the dinner- such a great night! The food was fantasticcccc!!

The next day, I joined them for a surf lesson as they are good friends with one of the best surf instructors at the Cabo Surf Hotel, Daniel. After a quick overview on the beach, we paddled out and I was surprised to get the hang of it quickly. We got lucky with some great sets, and I caught more than a handful of waves- hooked!

From there we sped off (no pun intended) to Cabo Wide Open dune bugging for the rest of the afternoon- about 5 hours of dirt, hills, and sharp turns....and I learned to drive stick;) Then that night the fun continued as they threw Daniel a surprise birthday party. 

After a night out the 4th of July, the training and the playing had caught up to me. It was a rough rest of the month until the very end when I finally got into some consistency with the guys at Diamante, namely Brent, that are also training for Cozumel. We get in some amazing riding with not even a stop sign for upwards of 4 hours if we desire. Right now 3-4 is our longest, but with that heat and those mountains, it's insane quality.

Finally better, I flew to Mexico City last week as I was invited for the second year to open the Triathlon Expo at the World Trade Center and to give a speech. At first they asked me to talk about my experiences as a 2x World Champion- but that's in the past and I doubt many people want an hour of someone's life spilled on them, so I took it as the perfect opportunity to announce the race series, training camps, kids school, and foundation that we have developing, or already ongoing, in Cabo.

It was also a chance to apply for my tourist visa to get back in the states- I barely slept and had my stomach lodged in my throat the weeks leading to this consular appointment because although I have absolutely moved to Mexico and am not looking to reside in the US atm, and everything I was disclosing is true- all the t's crossed and i's dotted- there was still that by-the-book mentality that I feared could be an insurmountable obstacle for me right now...see, you have to prove income, property, etc that ties you to Mexico, but I earn commission, have not yet closed a deal, rent my apartment, and my immediate family, albeit my dad, live as citizens in Texas:/

Fortunately, it all went well, though I was trembling as I handed over my documents, and literally my life, to the consulate on Monday morning. In the end, having had visas and never violating any terms for over 20 years, was a sure sign that there was no reason to prevent me from visiting friends, family, and straight up vacationing in the US as I please:)

Today I fly back to Cabo with a huge sense of accomplishment and pumped to continue my life there full throttle with real estate, the sports development, and my own triathlon goals, as everything that I had planned and more has unfolded in a mere two months.

For those curious on what we have going on...I'm working the sponsorship, PR/marketing side of things and all of us at TriCabo are stoked and intent on giving you all the opportunity to train and have a world class racing experience in Baja....

We have a local race series of sprints, olympics, duathlons, and mountain bike events that have already been going on a couple years but we are now taking control of these local, basically group based workouts, and giving them a formal race structure/environment. They will run through the year in different venus of Cabo to mix things up, and allow locals to earn points culminating in awards at our half distance triathlon in March.

Here's the international race calendar-

Feb 8, Los Cabos Half Marathon (

Approx Feb 8-15 Michael Lovato & I will host a training camp for 10-15 amateurs - long rides and runs, interval rides and runs, trx sessions on the beach, track, pool and open water swims, optional cross training Cabo style: surfing, outrigger paddling, yoga.

March 29, Cabo Whaleman Half Distance Triathlon ( - inaugural race as the IM got moved to October. The weather in Cabo is perfection until May (summer months), and this is a beautiful time of the year for a half and to vacation with family- play some golf, do some fishing, whale watching, snorkeling, etc pre or post race.

2 Gran Fondos from Cabo to La Paz, and La Paz to Cabo- dates TBD but one in spring one in fall.

May 2, Los Cabos 7k Open Water swim (also 3.5k relay), and SUP race from Palmilla to Puerto Los Cabos.

Another training camp at start of summer. Eventually one leading into Kona for pros that want to come get in some excellent heat training, and prep for IM Cabo.  Lastly, one late Oct for IM Cozumel.  *** Pros interested in leading any of these camps with me please email me. You'll get comped stay and a % of camper fees***

Nov 15 Xtreme Cabo Off Road Triathlon

Our whole project, as I mentioned above, is very focused on the community and on youth development. We already have the TriCaboKidz ( summer camps and after school clinics. These boys and girls are lucky to be able to exercise in such a beautiful place- the Cabo del Sol grounds, where the lovely Sheraton Hacienda del Mar is, has carved out a trail path for the kids, and let the camp use a fairway style lawn overlooking the Sea of Cortez for them to run and do drills. Their open water swimming and obstacles courses, as well as canoeing, takes place in the El Ganzo Hotel of Puerto Los Cabos, where they have a waveless beach that gets them comfortable with open water in a safe environment.

TriCabo also has the kids foundation (link on kidz site)- and a portion of our race fees will be given to this cause, helping underprivileged kids get the proper equipment and training tools to be involved in sport.

Unofficially, our Olympic swimming pool has been approved, it is now a matter of getting the financials and administrative rights in order to hopefully have it done by end of 2015. For now, there's the 25scm lap pool at Sporti-K gym in San Lucas, the Huerta Spotrts Club pool in San Jose, and the incredible endless pool of the Sea of Cortez- Chileno Bay, Palmilla Beach, Puerto Los Cabos, and Medano.

We're still looking for companies and individuals to get involved as sponsors or investors (on a larger sports complex project we have in the works), so please contact me with any questions, ideas, or comments. Our Kids program could really benefit from a swim wear sponsor, bike donations, running equipment- all the necessities that are simply out of reach for some.

So that's THAT! It's a lot, and come Feb/March I'll likely be pulling my hair out, but I've always loved the behind the scenes of this crazy sport we do and I am thankful to have landed in a place that is prime for development and that allows me to blend both my cultures and languages and passion for sport to give back in the same way that so many people gave to me when I was a kid and total novice.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cabo Triathlon Training Camp(s)

Yesterday I felt exactly what it's like when you combine passion and work, and when you understand why you experienced what you did years prior, and why you are where you are at this very moment.

I posted this on my Facebook yesterday, even though there's still quite of bit of planning left because I know once the camp is officially open for registration people will appreciate having had a heads up.

"Get ready for the most EPIC "tracation" EVER!!...When I got to Cabo it sort of felt like the Kona of Mexico: Great highway, mountains juxtaposed with stunning coastline full of majestic bays for swimming & golf courses and new roads and trails for running, I could not contain my excitement and determination to bring my friends and make this a new Mecca of triathlon.

Life works wonders, & I've been fortunate to connect with some incredible people that share the same passion for sport and vision for Cabo as an athletic destination.

We already have the Ironman, we're planning more races, mountain biking is part if the culture here, we have a half marathon in February, & more and more people show up for group open water swims, and rides in and out of Cabo on some amazing mountainous roads.

We had a meeting today at the site of the ongoing TriCaboKidz camp and you could feel the generational impact of sport all around you.

We're going to offer an intermediate to advanced training camp for adults (to start) and invite a couple interested pros to help us promote the camp and lead the campers in swims, bikes, runs, trx sessions, and nutrition/training talks. The details of the discount packages for accommodations etc, as well as the "invite package" for pros will be announced later as we're still in the beginning stages of setting the camps loose;)!!

Friends, friends of friends, amateurs and pros alike, sponsors, and anyone else interested, please contact me with any questions or to mark your enthusiasm just like this post/album.

Where else can you get 350 + days of summer sunshine/yr, turquoise waters, quick (California!) and easy travel, amazing food and hospitality, and the chance to literally "live the dream" training?!?!"

We're shooting for early 2015 to allow participants a chance to really get in some SOLID work load before the season commences. Eventually, we hope to offer a mid and end of year camp as well. Because Cabo can get VERY hot in the summer months- July-September, I want to organize something for the masochists (like myself) that like brutal but effective Kona prep. 

The accommodations (villas/condos/homes and hotels) that we will offer campers- pros and amateurs- will be second to none. No matter your budget, you will be somewhere that allows training, recovery, and "enjoyment" :) to be your only concern. 

Myself and other locals we'll be partnering with, will offer rides to and from the airport, to other activities you may want to explore in Cabo (if you have energy left haha), and to some of the areas best EATS. This won't just be triathlon training- it will be the ultimate Cabo experience!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cabo, THE PARADISE! & A General Observation of Mexico & USA

It's crazy to think I've only been in Cabo for 2 weeks because I feel like a TOTAL LOCAL. Since childhood, I've been able to adapt to new areas and orient myself very well practically by instinct. I give much credit to my parents too for always treating me like an adult, never excluding me from things, places, or people because of my age. That exposure along with the confidence building via encouraging me to do things on my own has led to a self sufficiency that I'm very proud of. One example is of my first day in school in the US. I only knew Spanish and I was 3 or 4 yrs old, in Montessori. So I made up my own "language" and the other kids somehow understood me! Eventually that morphed into pretty good English;)

The few weeks between deciding I was going to move here and when I actually flew over, were spent reading everything I could get my hands on regarding Cabo, and talking to everyone I knew that either vacations here frequently or lives/has lived here. Logically, when my family came down to help me with the move, I already had a list of things to do, people to see, and an understanding of the area stretching from San Jose to Cabo San Lucas that truly puzzled some locals.

I am elated to share the constantly growing knowledge of a place that I'm falling more and more in love with every day with absolutely everyone! It's fascinating talking to all the foreigners (Mexicans from elsewhere, included) that now call Cabo their home, and hearing nothing but joy in their hearts and feeling their contagious positive outlook on life, because this paradise breeds inner and outer wealth.

For blue collar Mexicans, Cabo is a land of opportunity. Fueled by tourism and back on a rocket ship of growth and development, there's the chance to make a living in a beautiful, clean, and safe environment. For wealthy Mexicans, it offers a beach retreat that isn't saturated with traffic or crime, nor overly Americanized in a distasteful way. Frankly, one of the things that stood out the most to me about Cabo compared to other vacation spots in Mexico is that, aside from the key spring break locations downtown, Cabo attracts classier people (both nationally and internationally) - and I'm not talking about rich or poor, but the real definition of class- behavior, education, and culture.

Americans and others from around the world, particularly love Cabo because of its unique location, near perfect climate (350+ days of summer sunshine with little to no humidity), famous fishing waters, large Marina, easily accessible international airport (you can fly anywhere in the world 7 days a week!), and dozens of outdoor activities (golf, tennis, cycling, stunning beaches for swimming, snorkeling, diving, paddling, zip lining, ATVing, dirt biking, cross fit, yoga....pick one!).

From all walks of life, and whatever their intention for vacationing or living in Cabo, people find enthusiasm and opportunity to live out their dreams. As both a Mexican and American, I relate to all of these views, and personally feel the energy and beauty of Cabo changing my life by the minute!

That said, I must admit hesitance of moving to Mexico in general, for the same concerns that many Americans and other foreigners hold: lack of safety, corruption, and economic instability. However, these assumptions couldn't be farther from the truth. I felt very ignorant supposing that the troubled years of the nineties and early 2000s of Mexico City ("express kidnappings", getting mugged on the street in broad daylight, the almost lethal air pollution, etc) hadn't improved in the least.

But letting the worries of one the largest cities in the world cloud judgment of quiet and far away beach towns, is absurd. When I hear comments about "all" of Mexico being unsafe because of misrepresented news stories being cast abroad, it really disappoints me. Don't we have the common sense to know that anywhere in the world if you're a drunk girl coming out of a bar at 3am, something bad just may happen to you?! Or yes, if you're talking with the wrong people in obscure places about things you shouldn't, that could lead to trouble. I take care of myself at night in cities like LA and NY just the same. But all the negativity from the drug/cartel reports is just silly. Their beef is with government or whoever else may be getting in the way of their business. Some tourist coming to relax at an all inclusive hundreds of miles from the border has nothing to worry about.

As is written on my website (, Mexico's economy actually prospered  through the US crisis of the last few years. It is currently the 14th largest in the world, growing at a rate faster than any South or Central American country. According to our current President, private companies plan to invest $8.6 billion in tourism projects throughout Mexico over the next three years.

What's more, and I am a prime example of this scenario, is thousands of Mexicans educated in excellent public or private schools in the US that are unable to find visa sponsorships for work are coming back to Mexico to feed the economy and improve the country in every aspect. Many of those young professionals came from very poor working class families in Mexico and are now slowly shifting their generation and their children's into the middle class. Ironically, while Mexico's middle class is growing, or dare I say coming into existence for the first time, the US middle class is on a devastating slide, increasing the gap between rich and poor much like Mexico has had for decades.

Let it be clear- I'm not writing this on some high chair all of the sudden trying to either psychologically feel better about my departure from the US or bash on its government and economy for no reason. I love the US, I always will- it pains me to see this evolve and to hear numerous Americans tell me in person, that they moved to Mexico, or are planning to, because they are tired of the US auto destructing with its obsessiveness over rules and regulations and being run by nothing but insurance companies and lawyers. I QUOTE.

What I hope, is that all or some of this information, educates some as it did me, and spreads a general awareness of our quick judgment of other countries and cultures, as well as that of our own.

Also, I hope it increases the desire of more of my foreign friends to come visit;) haha.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Flora Farms, Capella Pedregal, Avalon Salon, California Ranch Market & the unforgettable Hacienda Beach Club

For the last dinner before my family left Cabo, I made a reservation at Flora Farms. Their restaurant/patio area is huge and we weren't scheduled until 8pm, so when we got there a little after 7 I thought it'd be no problem to get seated fairly quickly. Wrong! Word has definitely spread about this gem tucked into the mountains of San Jose del Cabo. It was packed! Even the bar had no available seats to pass the time. Luckily, after walking around the farm a bit, we found a sofa and chairs outside the bar area and sipped $20 freshly squeezed juices and margaritas.

The special of the day was a fried chicken family style with the typical southern comforts- collard greens, mashed potatoes, biscuits, and slaw...oh and carrot cake as dessert which we ended up forgetting to take home:(. My mom ordered the special knowing we'd probably take 1/2 her food, my brother got the double cut lamb chop, and I got a salad with grilled snapper. (I know, I know, but I haven't been eating my usual truckload of vegetables and this is a FARM so...).

As always, the dishes were full of freshly grown and picked flavor, and we devoured every single
morsel of food.

Pictured is one of the farm dogs named "flor" or "flower"...fitting, huh? LOL.

After my family left, I needed to relax and recharge to fully absorb my new life in Cabo now that the bit of vacation mindset had vanished. Naturally, I called Capella Pedregal Hotel to schedule a manicure. Capella is owned by a Mexican family and is one of the most exclusive and luxurious hotels in Cabo. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean just past the marina, it is nestled in the mountains- literally as there's a tunnel you go through before arriving at the main entrance- with a grandeur that is unparalleled.

It was on my urgent list of places to visit and out of all the other fine hotels and resorts with a spa on grounds, this one had the most impressive and comprehensive menu of services.

If you can't experience Capella as a hotel guest, I urge you to book something at the spa to get hours of pampering at this wonderful place.

Once you valet, you're escorted down to the Auriga Spa, checked in, and taken on a tour of the locker room, co-ed relaxation pools, and then given a little quiet time before your specialist greets you.

I got there right at my appointment time so enjoyed the jacuzzi, steam room, ice room, and shower after my nails were done. But you can allow time before yours to get all these "necessities" in:).

The Auriga Spa reminded me a lot of the spa at La Amada Resort in Cancun- where I spent a month of vacation post Ironman Cozumel in 2010 as my dad was living there. It's from a Spanish company and the concept and design is very similar.

At Auriga everything is based on the phases of the moon and aligning the customer with that energy. All of their products are organic when possible and as my manicurist explained, the scrubs she used on my hands and arms were by a company (can't believe I forgot the name!) whose founder was in a terrible accident and he was completely restored by some Asian healers so his products were made in honor of them. In the locker, you have chlorophyl water and "digestive" teas, hors deouvres, and fresh fruit.

The manicure was fabulous, and the young lady, Paola from Guadalajara, became an instant friend. I will be back at some point for a pedicure when the time to unwind is loud and clear.

Continuing on the beauty theme:) grand aunt booked me a haircut and highlights yesterday because when she saw me at dinner the other night she gasped "sweetheart you are a natural blonde, you can't have that almost black hair with green lines from all that swimming you do!". I love her honesty and sassiness.

I've noticed more and more as the days in Cabo pass, that I'm actually living in SoCal, so it was no surprise to walk into Avalon full of young, hip Americans, and have them rival my favorite salon in Beverly Hills: Fringe.

Jessica did a fantastic job with my broom like, crayola disaster hair. She informed me that ketchup or tomato sauce/paste takes out the green from pools, and I was skeptical at first but she was right!!
Avalon is right in the heart of Cabo, and even if you weren't planning on getting your hair done here, you might as well look fabulous!

In the evening, I joined my great aunt and her husband for a movie and dinner. That's how I roll on a Friday night;)

We went to see Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie and it was awesome! I love her, and Sleeping Beauty is one of my favorite Disney movies. They did a great job in adding to, or clearing up, the story, and using modern film technology to bring this fascinating fairy tale to life.

We then took a short trip to the California Organic Market- where you can find all the essential "Whole Foods" items albeit a very marked up price. I only grabbed some baked Kettle Chips, but spotted Tamari sauce, organic milk and yogurt, Amy's frozen foods, some favorite cereals, etc.

With no rush we drove a few blocks down to the Hacienda Beach Club for dinner. It is one of the oldest hotels in Cabo right next to the Marina past Medano Beach. The ocean is calm more often than not and they had looong bouey lines for swimming that immediately caught my eye (I'm going today of course). The Hacienda lives up to its name with Spanish influences and a spread that differentiates it from the other hotels in Cabo.

The view from the dining area is UNREAL, and for some reason their varied and chef quality cuisine has maintained extremely reasonable prices compared to the competition. It was clear I had a new place on my list of musts for when friends and family are in town.

Today, I'm feeling wiped out from the last couple weeks and the solid training I've managed. Instead of doing a long ride today, I'm leaving that for tomorrow and heading to the Saturday Organic Market in San Jose for its last weekend until November. I went last week and the vendors have already started to fade out, however I did find some raw coconut butter, awesome body cream from Baja Body Deli, and organic pork and chicken tamales- making sure to jot down the lady's number as she still makes and delivers to locals year round.