Friday, July 22, 2016

Why As a Mexican Raised in the U.S. I Would Vote for Trump

Monday I joined my parents in the living room to watch the Republican National Convention. Mostly I was tuning it out – as I made a conscious decision when I left the U.S. two years ago not to involve myself in American politics anymore- even at the level of discussing it with family or reading about it in the paper.

It was a total eye roll topic for me as the consequences of the current immigration system had left me in a Catch 22 when applying for jobs in the US- essentially forcing me to go back to Mexico for work despite living here LEGALLY since the age of 3 on student (and later part time work) visas.

Indifference was an easier pill to swallow. However, in watching the RNC and hearing the eloquence and rationality of the entire Trump family (putting aside the small part of Melania’s speech), I could no longer ignore how necessary it is for the U.S. to turn its unemployment, overall work mentality, national security, and foreign policy around. Regardless of where we live and what we do for a living, we will all be impacted by the election more than ever. The United States is an undeniable Super Power- we should all care.

I’ve always considered myself a conservative/Republican. I did grow up in Texas, after all. It stemmed from my belief in the American Dream- that this is a country of opportunity where you get what you work for. Democrats will argue that is contradictory since they view the Republican tax policies as allowing the wealthy to hoard more money at the expense of the poor, hence leaving the less fortunate without those opportunities for success. This could not be further from the truth.

My American Dream was simple: get good grades, go to college, get employed after college, and move up in my career based on my work ethic.

I’m not writing to talk about the obstacle in my trajectory- that has been covered extensively in previous posts. In summary- you need experience to justify a work visa no matter how many years you’ve resided legally in this country on student visas. But how can you get the experience when you’re entry level? Exactly. It’s not a personal complaint either, as I’ve truthfully said, I’m thrilled at where life has led me and very happy to be living my adult life in Mexico.

What I grew up loving most about the United States was that you could indeed come from a broken, underprivileged family, attend a phenomenal public school, and be it via academic or athletic merit, EARN your way into even an Ivy League University, and pave your own road to success.

These educational, athletic, health, and other social opportunities, are available through our tax system. A leftist government however, will yield a negative snowball effect when what those in power pledge to give, with a treasure cat smile, only promotes a sense of entitlement- resulting in expected handouts and overall laziness. This is happening today- whether we want to admit it or not.

Many friends and family in Mexico are anti- Trump. Ever since he uttered the idea of building a wall (and having Mexico pay for it, to boot!), and tied the word rapists, gangsters, etc to Mexicans and other immigrants, their minds shut off and he immediately meant a disaster for the country, and for international politics. The sad reality is many (note: not all!) immigrants are indeed criminals that are coming in from every direction and killing innocent civilians.

I’m not writing this to change anyone’s mind, especially not theirs since they can’t even vote in November. My only intention is to express my views and opinions, and state some facts so that those who immediately point anti-Trump/Republican fingers (wherever they may reside, and whatever their socioeconomic level is), without knowing any better, will have a more complete platform on which to base their own opinions.  As well, many of the people in my circle, legitimately ask me questions about the current state of affairs because they are aware that they only “know” what the media feeds them- and as is readily evident, the media is predominantly left wing.

Shocking as it may sound, I support “the wall”. As someone in favor of ethics, and following the law, I support LEGAL immigration, as does Mr. Trump. I do not support a blatant violation of the law, and one that has spun so out of control.

It is important to note that the amnesty which democrats favor and have already commenced does not cover those who followed the legal system. Also, one of its key purposes is to turn all of those illegal immigrants into democratic voters.

Even though the work ethic of many illegal immigrants (I’m going to strictly touch on Mexico for the obvious) cannot be argued against, and they are indeed doing many jobs that the majority of Americans would never do (so long as they can keep collecting welfare or disability checks), they belong in Mexico doing those jobs, and it is MEXICO’s task to be able to employ and rightfully compensate its people in order for them not to desperately be crossing the border!

I want nothing more than to see Mexico rise above the corruption, social abuse, and static level of poverty it has faced for generations. 

I hope that if Mexican workers are forced back and, largely, kept in Mexico, that its country’s leaders will finally step up to the plate and take care of THEIR citizens, as is their responsibility. 

It is greed, laziness, and an abandonment of its own people by those in power, to rely on another country to feed its poorest men, women, and children. 

We can all agree that without these immigrants performing such jobs for such (relatively) low wages here in the US, those service and agricultural (to name a few) businesses would suffer in the short term.

But wouldn't it be wonderful to actually see the long term effects: that these businesses would be forced to employ American workers, albeit an increase in wages, and that these Americans, previously against doing these jobs, would be lining up left and right (no pun intended) because their government free-bees are now limited to those that are legitimately unemployable due to age/disability?!

I have immense respect for and desire to help the less fortunate. It pains me every time I witness it in countries such as Mexico- where the homeless, and the kids begging in the street are really that; with no, and I mean zero, opportunity to climb out of poverty. However, I have a really hard time feeling any sympathy for beggars in the US. As an example, the other day I saw a man with Oakley’s, a just washed and ironed t-shirt, khakis, and decent tennis shoes, with a sign that read, “three kids, no job, anything helps”. He was not disabled, and could very well be at the restaurant literally 50 steps away waiting tables.

A few years ago, my mom, brother, and I went to a homeless shelter in Texas to give out Thanksgiving lunch/dinner. I never did it again. The people coming to these shelters were not starved- most of them were obese! They did not lack clothing, and definitely not food, what they lacked was gratitude. I’ve worked at a restaurant and had never been treated with such disrespect and from such a sense of entitlement. These were society’s “victims”?! Wow. (I’d like to note the people receiving the meals were U.S. citizens- white or African American. None were Hispanic/Mexican illegals or such).

This is the problem. This is not solved with taxing the wealthy for more government programs for the poor. How about providing incentives and motivation for those less fortunate to get a job when they very well can?!

As unfair as it is for low income families not to have opportunities, the same goes for those that have earned their success and then are stripped nearly 40% in taxes, and if you add estate taxes, upon death their family will only keep approximately a quarter of their life long earnings! It is ludicrous.

The media, the current administration, and the democratic campaign of 2016 is out to keep the public with their blinders on and simply feed them what they want to hear: more taxes for the rich, more government presents for the poor paid for by those that actually got to work (or hey, maybe they were born rich! Who cares? Tough luck, life isn’t fair. Get out there and get your success!).  The blindness much of the public is kept in is highly detrimental.  

Socialism is the not so far extreme of what we are seeing with the policies of the Obama Administration, and the same if not worse, will continue if Hillary Clinton is elected. The corruption is so great now that she, as Secretary of State, received a pass on a federal crime that threatened the nation’s security.  The community crime rate has increased dramatically, ISIS is bigger and stronger than ever, and law enforcement officials continue to be killed. As Trump said, the U.S. needs law and order, and I do believe he will provide that.

The current corporate tax rate is the third highest in the world at 39% and if Trump were elected and finally get that percentage to dip even into the lower 20’s, we would finally see all of those companies that have been forced to outsource and feed other economies, return to the U.S, to continue to grow and help “Make America Great Again”.

On that note, I’d love to delve into foreign issues, but I want to keep this as brief and simple as possible.

For now, I’ll close by addressing the incredible idea that a politician is more apt to serve as President than a businessman. It is a great paradox. A politician, by nature, says what the public wants to hear, is vying for position and power (we would hope to serve the greater public good), and is generally admired for his social and negotiating skills. A businessman as successful as Mr. Trump checks off all those boxes, except one: he’s not saying what the public wants to hear- rather what it needs to.

Trump will run a country better, because he actually knows the inner workings of international economics, business to business negotiations, and he tells the crude reality and what is needed to fix it, even if it might mean tough times in the short run. Less talk, more actions.

He has turned his construction business into an empire, and revitalized entire communities. As a feminist, I am embarrassed by Hillary and see her as representing the complete opposite of a moral leader. Trump has employed women for jobs that did not have mainstream gender equality, men and women get paid equally, and as Ivanka Trump stated last night, there are more female than male executives in his company.  His business culture is team oriented and he will run the country as such- considering everyone.

One of my favorite quotes is “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” because everything does come at a price. The free lunch that the Democratic Party offers comes at the hefty price of not only America’s future, but also the world’s. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Detour

Last Friday after coming home from racing Challenge San Gil, down in Queretaro, Mexico,  I was out doing a 2hr ride on top of a morning run and lunch swim- a little rev back in the engine to kick start the final push for Vineman.

I’ve been registered for Vineman since finishing Cozumel in November where I surprised myself with a solid result given minimal long distance training. All year, subconsciously or consciously, I kept delaying the beginning of actual Ironman training until “surprise!”, it’s July and I barely have time for anything before a taper.

Still, knowing how quickly things become boring and monotonous to me, especially when training 99% solo, I really only needed 2-3 long rides and runs to top off the pretty consistent training I’ve had all year and race fresher than in other IM’s, but perhaps better.

Somewhere in that 2hr ride on Friday though, I had to be honest with myself. I have no desire to race Ironman. The only reason for me to toe that line again is to break 10hrs, and I’d really need a miracle to do that right now. Regardless, I have other things that I’d much rather focus on that breaking down my body and numbing my mind like that again.

What a relief it is to just do what you really want and know is best for you! It’s not like anyone really cares, and there’s no pressure from sponsors, family, or friends…but somehow the commitment I had made to race, and race well, was becoming too much to let go of.

It’s been a lovely few days of hanging out with old friends, doing yoga, lifting more, and I’m excited to head out for random group rides and keep this relaxed approach going.

Through my forced exit as an elite and a couple years not racing at all, to contemplating a comeback, I’ve now arrived at a wonderful sweet spot of sorts: I want to be the weekend warrior- enjoying the social aspect of training and racing, and tackling manageable, fun, and healthy distances.

So the focus right now is on landing a full time job in a city that I had never ever …EVER… entertained as an option. MEXICO CITY. Yep.

If you know me, you’ll likely spit your coffee out reading that. But it’s true. This year, and certain wonderful people, have made me see that concrete jungle as a world of possibility, culture, excitement, challenges; no longer just a threat of traffic and pollution. Perspective is everything!

I found myself going more often in the last few months than I’d cumulatively been in years.  With each visit I saw myself living closer to family, meeting new people, and expanding my career to the point where one day if I choose to, I can justify a foreigner work visa because I’ll actually have the professional experience. Or maybe I’ll actually love it and stay. Who knows? No one- certainly not me. It's scary, but it’s also incredibly fun.

Hakuna Matata, the circle of life. I love the irony of going to live in the city that brought me into this world and one, which I had sworn off entirely.

Since moving to Mexico 2 years ago, my country has given me a lot more back than I gave it credit for. 2016, so far, has been full of great times and adventure- there’s nothing in me yearning to go back to the US at all.

Being a big believer in the Law of Attraction, I can’t help but smile as the interviews roll in since taking this detour. I don’t want to jinx it, so won’t name the company, but this afternoon I’ll be Skyping with an Ad Agency that everyone in the SMU Ad/Mktg school had their eyes on- lo and behold they have a Mexico office ;)

This blog doesn’t have much momentum anymore since it was centered on my athletic career. So these posts are more of a diary than anything. I can’t wait to look back in a few years and remember the time when I made yet another big shift into another thrilling chapter of life.

The journey…it’s all about the journey….

Sunday, December 6, 2015

ANYTHING Really is Possible

Up to now, that Ironman slogan hadn't meant much to me other than a motivating marketing quote from a company who's races I participated in. From my first Ironman in 2007, it had been something that was easily possible because all it took was logging in the long miles and staying headstrong- so that even with a massive breakdown in pace on the marathon, I could stagger to the finish line.

That possibility was *completely* taken away in 2012 when I DNF'ed Ironman Louisville after getting off the bike with over 60 miles of locking back pain and gathering my thoughts and strength in the porta potty of T2 barely able to stand, and seeing if I had the courage to open that door and take on the run course.

Save dignity, I made it past the first couple miles of crowds cheering "you can do it!"- and I furiously thought, "no, I can't! This isn't about discomfort or a mental bonk- this is disastrous- one more step and my back will break,  type of pain!".

Soon I found a little building with a stair hallway I could hide in, cry myself a pity party, and then walk to turn in my chip.

3 years later, I still didn't think I'd see an Ironman finish EVER again. But my new life in Cabo was finally taking form after a few emotionally difficult years dealing with separating myself from triathlon, moving to an essentially new country despite my citizenship to it, and leaving behind family and friends to venture out entirely alone.

I'd found my purpose with people as passionate for sport as I, and was setting out on making my life work tie in directly with what I love to do most- be active, healthy, and help out the greater community thorough this lifestyle.

With this excitement, triathlon entered again in a new light: as a way to stand for the athletic movement in Cabo, be an example to the local kids, and travel and seek out new adventures and experiences.

Little by little more things seemed possible.

As driven as I was for Ironman Cozumel, there was an undeniable amount of nervousness of can I really even finish?! I told my coach that I didn't really grasp what I had achieved in my younger years in Ironman until now- that youthful fearlessness was such a weapon!

It comes down to this- remove fear from your mind and you can do absolutely anything.

Coach P eased my mind the night before saying this was just a long day- a picnic for the steady and strong. Just be a machine, and don't overthink it. This was my comfort zone and I just needed to trust that my body knew exactly what to do.

It sure did.

The race unfolded as follows...

Thursday morning, I woke up after a series of naps resulting from food poisoning (which tends to plague me before a big race), and continued hugging the toilet until I literally would miss my flight if I stalled any longer. I debated dragging the luggage into my car and going at all- when you feel deathly ill even something that important to you and which you've worked so hard for, seems meaningless at the time.

I'm glad I summoned up the energy to get my butt in the car, as I'd regret if massively if I'd chosen to stay and victimize myself.

Pedialtye, bagels, potato chips, gatorade, juices, and mineral tablets galore later, things were looking up.

Once in Cozumel my aunt picked me up and took me to the best Thanksgiving dinner I've enjoyed in many years. Some American family had their grandmother in town and she followed recipes passed down from generations and it really was grandma's cooking that gave me back my strength.

Friday morning I got the packet, did a short ride, run, and swim to wake the system up and then rested until race morning as best I could.

Sunday came and I felt awesome. The swim start was rolling and I'd never experienced that in an Ironman before. Everything would have gone great with that method had they not chosen what seemed like a theatre prop for the ramp into the water.

With eager athletes that thing shook like it was undergoing an earthquake and as we quickly jumped into the water "one by one", too many of us unfortunately discovered the water was about 2-3ft deep and I started my Ironman day with two scraped knees and a jammed foot I was hoping would come back to life halfway through the swim.

The swim was uneventful- warm clear water typical of Cozumel, and a pace that at times seemed a bit too peaceful. My only regret was not jamming my way to the very very very front of that first corral and holding onto the front group of swimmers. I needed to exit the water with the girl that went on to win our age group.

Onto the bike- BEST RACE RIDE OF MY LIFE. Since a couple long rides in July and two more in September in TX I had not ridden over 4hrs. But the consistency of the year paid dividends!!

I felt I rode 80 miles. I didn't light a single match the whole bike ride and considering the winds this year were way tougher than previous times I've raced Cozumel, I rode better than I could've ever expected.

The run started out great- my legs felt good. But the back was stiff as nails the first 5k. I had way too many internal pleads to stop running and call it. But I just told myself to keep at it until it literally stops you in your tracks.

The run had its ups and downs. Loop 2 of three I felt the best but started cramping right before the third lap began. I upped the salt and came to- until mile 19. At that exact moment the lack of long runs slapped me in the face. It was a survival to the finish line.

This finish cost me much more those last miles physically, than any other Ironman I've done. But the elation from realizing I was about to actually finish an Ironman when a couple months ago I still swore it would never happen was too much and I broke down in tears the last km.

I gave everything I had, and have no regrets. I trained what my mind, body, and life approach allowed and desired each day this year, and thus it was never daunting- it was one of the best years in sport, and a year that taught me so much not just as an athlete but as a person.

Third in 25-29 and 5th female amateur, 18th overall in 10:26. Not shabby.


But if you know me- there's always the desire for more. I missed the Kona slot, and I want Kona.

So Vineman 2016 it is. And the goal is to win Worlds a third time.

2016- I'm a triathlete again and I'm placing no limits.







Monday, November 2, 2015

2015 In a Nutshell

It seems silly at this point with instagram, Facebook, twitter, snapchat, and whatever other social media tools we use, to write paragraphs on what those snip bits covered on an almost daily basis.

But, at the port-a-potty line of 70.3 Cabo last Sunday, a woman I'd never met came up and introduced herself asking if I was Tatiana as she loves to read my blog and is very happy I'm back racing and involved in the sport. WOW! That made me blush and it was so cool to have that kind of reach and appreciation from people you may run into once in your life or maybe not at all.

Triathlon, and sport in general, connects us like that- and it's special. We can all inspire and motivate people when we don't even realize it.

Deep talk aside, I'd like to note for years ahead when I read back at 2015, that I am incredibly thankful for what life has given me these past months!

After accepting the Austria Worlds 70.3 slot at Galveston, I enjoyed an amazing two weeks in Spain that were a welcome change to every other kind of vacation/travel I'd ever been on. I met some wonderful people and experienced things that I thought only exist in movies.

After that escapade, I was back in Cabo hosting our SMASH/DIMOND camp. It went really well, and only cut short due to a tease from Hurricane Blanca, that luckily just caused some rain and power outages...but led to me fleeing Cabo early for the summer.

Back in Texas, I jumped into Lubbock 70.3 to get my butt into gear for Austria training and then followed my good friend and teammate, Dawn Elder ("Kona Dawn"), to a month long training camp in Tucson.

I LOVE TUCSON! We had a ball- and the camp resulted in another fabulous friendship with Lauren Palmer, who I'm sure I'll battle out the 25-29 in Kona next year if the cards line up for us;)! Some other HPB/Smash athletes joined us for some random training days, and I left for Europe feeling fit and in love with triathlon all over again.


Europe can't even be summed up here. Austria is the most beautiful country on Earth. The training at Hotel Mohrenwirt was absolutely perfect. I've never been to or seen such picturesque and ideal training grounds for triathlon, and road or mountain biking.

After 3 weeks alone in Fuschl Am See, my brother and mom joined and we headed to Zell Am See for Worlds.

The race went as best as it could've. I swam and biked my heart out, and may or may not have paid for it on the run but that was the plan- just GO FOR IT. Im happy to see cycling finally clicking- just need to run like I used to with that new bike rhythm.

After Europe I touched down in Texas and raced TriRock Austin which is always a blast! Then it was off to Chicago for Short Course Worlds. Chicago itself I'm enamored with. What a cool city! I hope to return to enjoy it as a pure tourist soon. I had some issues in that race- just felt flat on the run, and a fiasco in T1 with running in bike shoes through literally wet mud puddles resulting in minutes trying to clip into my speedplay pedals.

To end the year, I had the intention of racing Ironman Cabo and again joined Dawn for her final long Kona workouts in Texas.

However, when I returned to Cabo at the start of October I realized Ironman felt daunting. The heat those first two weeks was unlike anything I'd ever experienced. Also, and in hindsight it's even clearer, I was unplugged after that whole summer of training, racing, and traveling. So I opted for the 70.3

That half was important to me as I have a lot of people that look up to me here in Cabo, and I needed to perform to give back in effort what this place and the community means to me.

I probably rolled over the last staple-thing before the turn to the manicured airport toll road at around mile 30 of the bike. I was leading the age group race by 10+ minutes and after standing around for a miracle pit stop from a mechanic or anyone that would loan me a spare wheel, I called it and went on to cheer for my brother, Daniel. He ended up winning overall amateur in his first 70.3!

There's no excuse for not carrying a spare but I'll give my reasons- I have no race wheels here. Daniel even forgot my front and I scrambled to find us another wheel from local friends that weren't racing 1 day before bike check in. He even had to use a front clencher and rear tubular.

The disc I flatted I just bought from a friend a few weeks ago and it had a bike shop glued tire that after the race took me 30+ minutes to peel off. I had no pit stop here...and in the end YES I did say "last race, all or nothing, here goes!".


Bitter sweet weekend as a lot of friends, new and old, were in town racing and we hit up some of my favorite spots. Superstar Mel McQuaid decided to stay a couple more days with me and we went with some other triathlete friends to swim with the Whale Sharks!


.......

What that flat caused though, is a fire inside me that I haven't felt since I last raced Hawaii! It made me so angry that I couldn't put all that hard work to use and showcase it in front of my hometown. Naturally, I looked for what race I could do this year- but not just any, one that could have an end purpose and a lot at stake.

Enter IRONMAN COZUMEL. My last Ironman in 2011, my first race as a Pro, and in my country. BAM! Unfinished business is an understatement.

This last week ramping up the mileage and planning the training showed me that I needed that recovery/taper week leading into Cabo 70.3, that I was EXHAUSTED beyond measure and I couldn't even sense it myself!

Right now I am a mix of awesome emotions- I'm pissed, motivated, ecstatic, hungry, ambitious....I want to go to Cozumel and absolutely race my heart and body out. I want to cross that finish line with nothing left- nothing but a deep exhalation of what an amazing year Ive had and how fortunate I am to be surrounded by wonderful family, friends, and supporters.

Training and racing aside, things in the sport development realm in Cabo are going fabulous! We have a new government in place and investors/local business keen on attracting sports tourism and brining in the infrastructure needed to make Los Cabos an athlete's paradise. I won't share more until things are clearly defined, and honestly because there's too much to share I could probably write a book!;)

Keep an eye out.

Cheers.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Galveston 70.3

In 2013, I "raced" Galveston after barely surviving Qt2 Pro Camp, and months of underlying fatigue that just wouldn't go away. Only now that I'm healthy do I realize how grey that cloud was that loomed over me. There was almost complete apathy toward being there and taking one more step- I felt bloated and stone legged, annoyed, and just wanting to move on from the world of swim, bike, and run. The back pain lasted for days after, and it wasn't long before I called my coach at the time, Jesse, and said I'm done racing.

In the last 2 years I've discovered that the general health issues had to do with my body's ability to process folic acid, and its need for bio active folate...which I talked about at length in another post. I also did find balance in my life, and got a life ;) haha. As well, maybe it was just giving time, time, but I learned to manage my back pain and spent many of what felt like stupid minutes a day doing tiny exercises/stretches that have accumulated to nothing short of a miracle.

I don't for once take my health for granted, so I know that the back pain is a part of me as an athlete and the spondy as a condition is a part of me as a person in whatever activity or lack thereof I partake in.  So I can only continue the diligence when it comes to this bodily maintenance.

Onto the race...

I arrived in Texas on Wednesday night, got a great night's sleep, and was eagerly at the pool at 6am on Thursday. Everything was going perfect until 11am when a sudden urge to puke my brains out hit and didn't stop until 5pm that I was letting out vile and coiling in screams at the stomach pain. Realizing I couldn't even keep down 2oz of water, and my mom said I looked like death, we headed to Urgent Care. I passed out in the car over. Two IV bags and a triple dose of anti nausea medicine later, and life looked promising again.

The doctor said it was a virus, so not food poisoning, and that if I wanted to race I just had to get as much fluid and hopefully solid food in by Sunday morning (race day).

Cool.

Saturday evening in Galveston was my first real meal aside from boiled potatoes, fruit cups, and bananas. I even felt good enough to have a glass of white wine.

The mistake was made on Sunday morning when I should've been preemptive and downed some electrolyte tabs, or drank a bottle of sports drink with Base salt.

The race----
Swim: I lined up front center, and ended up swimming 99% of the course on Alicia's feet ahead of the whole group, minus one girl that was farther ahead of us. It felt cruisey and the only bummer was having to navigate hundreds of slower age group men from prior waves. I did cramp 3 times on my right calf in the swim and still didn't take the hint to load up on extra salt on the bike!

I lost Alicia through a crowd of those men right before the last turn bouey toward the ramp.

Onto the bike I felt awesome. The Dimond is just ridiculous, that's all I need to say. I opted for a disc in the most perfect flat conditions. I passed Alicia a few miles into it, and then she caught back up with about 10miles to go.

I ended up coming into T1 only about a min ahead. I knew she ran well since she trains with my friend Sam Mazer, and so I just hoped I could run strong and even if she did end up ahead by a couple minutes she had her Worlds slot so I'd be good and have had a breakthrough race.

Looking at my watch if I ran 1:35 I'd be finishing right at 4:35-:4:40 so possibly a 70.3 PR (Vineman 4:39)...I was stoked!!!

Then it happened. Roughly 2 miles in, the quads started to cramp. I stared grabbing bananas, gatorade, and coke at every aid station like I was at an eating contest vs a triathlon. Too late. It was very humid, but I train in heat and I do well in humidity, and have never ever cramped in a race- EVER.

By the middle of the first lap I was about to hand my chip in and call it a day. The pain was ridiculous. Every step felt like my legs were going to buckle and I was jogging at a frustrating pace. It sucks when you feel great but your legs are worthless!

At the middle of the second loop I actually laid down for about 10min and had a massage on my legs to try and get the cramps out enough to just finish.

Devastatingly enough, I got passed with about 3/4mi to go by the girl that got second, and thankfully managed to hang on and finish because the slot rolled down to me for Austria.

Some things are just out of your control, but I do feel a bit of anger at myself for not having the light bulb go off and load up to prevent the cramps. It was such an obvious possibility that I dropped the ball. But, you learn.

That said, I am thrilled that I PR'd the bike with a 2:22 and had almost ZERO back discomfort. Knowing that with even a decent run I might've PR'd for a 70.3, motivates me like heck to put my head down and drill the training for Austria and Chicago.

You never know what will happen on race day but I'm in it to win it so after a couple weeks break, I'll be back to work;)!!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

One month to go!!! Racing for the Children's Tumor Foundation

I am Incredibly grateful to my friends that have already donated to this great cause which I hope to race not just the Hawaii 70.3 for, but many more events!! 

It will be an honor to line up on that start line knowing that the journey was more than time spent in a pool, a trail, or cycling highways. It was about being thankful each and every day for health and the OPPORTUNITY to be able to do each of those things. Children born with neurofibromatosis battle obstacles much greater than most of us could ever imagine. 

From all the reading I've done regarding neurofibromatosis, it is wonderful to be able to play a part, however small, in funding the research and education/counseling for families affected by this genetic disorder- especially with my recent involvement with all the kids in Cabo, and our own TriCaboKidz foundation. 30 days left for us to reach the goal together!! Thank you!!

CLICK HERE to help!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

ITU La Paz Moonlight Triathlon

This weekend was one of five Mexican Federation's age group qualifying races for the 2015 ITU Short Course Worlds in Chicago. It also included a draft legal race for Elite men and women that went off 20min before us.

Until yesterday, I had only done 2 Federation races- both in Ixtapa- but as an Elite in the draft legal category. There are 3 defining things about me as a triathlete: 1) the longer the race, the better I perform 2) I don't like draft legal 3) I seek out races according to temperature - HOT HOT HOT please!!

So hearing that the AG qualifier was non draft, that the bike had been lengthened to 48k (I think the main reason was to really separate us from the draft legal event on the course), and it was obviously going to be summer temps, I was immediately keen to sign up and give it a shot!

Last June I raced a half marathon in La Paz- all along the Malecon (stretch along the coast that's got a run/bike path and lined with restaurants, shops, and hotels), and into the Marina and Costa Baja golf course. Needless to say it was spectacular and I couldn't wait to do another race there.

Unlike 99% of the races, this one was set to start at 3pm...about the time I usually crave a nap in my day:) Joking aside, I was looking forward to this start time as it meant it'd be warmer, and it was something new and thus exciting. The only issue was making sure I ate very simply the whole day so as not to start the race with stomach trouble. A reason for this late start (not that it's the sole reason but one I know of) is that it's the "Moonlight Triathlon" - the idea is you finish at sunset and then party.

Mid morning Friday I left Cabo. It's a gorgeous, desolate, 90min-tops drive along the Pacific Hwy 19 (which I train on regularly). Since hotel check in wasn't until later, I met some friends from Mexico City and Cuernavaca at their hotel, caught up over coffee and lunch, and at 3pm the race organizers set up the swim course for a recon.


The wind was blowing pretty hard so the current and chop were gnarly- which I was stoked about! We swam the 1500m all against the current, and knew all the open water practice in Cabo and daily fun in the waves was going to pay off.

That afternoon I checked in the hotel and walked across the street to have an early dinner at a really cool new Mediterranean place, and then ended up accompanying a friend that had yet to eat, later that evening on the Malecon. It was great to get out there at night, walk a bit, and potentially stay up so as not to wake up at 6am Saturday and twiddle my thumbs waiting to race!!










Saturday morning I did a little jog first thing, showered and ate a normal breakfast of eggs, coffee, juice, and potatoes...then spent the rest of the hours relaxing until bike check in. Afterwards, I just ate a Powerbar and Vega Sport Protein with water 2 hours before the start. It worked like magic!

Just like the day before, the wind, chop, and current were on their game! The sprint race which started from a different point and a couple hours later actually ended up pulling people out of the water because of the conditions. Many even called it quits voluntarily:(

All the women went off in one wave which was awesome because I hate guessing where I am until the results are posted!

I lined up on the far left- it was a running start- as I knew the current would push me right/toward the beach, and sure enough I sprinted to the front and caught the feet of the girl who was swimming in second position. After a few strokes i decided to pass her and try to bridge up to the lead swimmer who I could see well within reach. Ultimately I couldn't latch on to her but dropped the other girl so ended up swimming solo in second a few meters back from first all the way to the exit.

We got out with a good lead on the rest of the women, and here commenced my T1 sh*t show haha...
supposedly ITU rules state that if it's non wetsuit, then whatever you swim with you must bike and run with. Therefore, if I chose to wear my TYR swim skin over my two piece tri kit, I'd have to keep it on the whole race- what?! Umm NO!

So I swam with a bathing suit and put on tri shorts in T1 to prevent chaffing ;) Well that took a bit of time, as it frustratingly does when you're wet. I also love my road shoes so I took the time to put those on and hop on my bike leisurely, ha. It was good as at least I calmed the HR through that locker room scenario.

Onto the bike I caught the lead girl at about 5km in, and continued to lead the race from then on. The bike was STUNNING!! It's the absolute most awesome bike course I've ridden. Rolling hills along some of the world's most incredible beaches with the opposing desert landscape just taking your breath away (no pun intended).

The bike leg was fabulous- my new Dimond is a rocket! I've never felt so stealth on the bike before- and was just having a ball!

As for the back pain, an ortho doc friend that was racing too kineseo taped it, and placebo or not it helped tons! I did feel it lock up at times and I'd just soft pedal a few seconds until it relaxed. The only thing I can do now that's non invasive is aggressively tackle the core work before the 70.3 events coming up to make sure the little hiccups don't completely ruin my race like in the past.

Anyway...onto T2, and then started the run feeling great minus a bit of air trapped - you know when it's like cramping, and you just have to hope you burp and it settles. Well luckily at about 2km it did, and I continued on a decent pace, feeling better each km to the finish. I didn't run a spectacular time, but had a clear lead and no need to completely gas myself. At the last turn around toward the finish, however, I saw a girl (who ended up running like the second fastest split, men or women) pretty close to me and picked it up to make sure she didn't catch up. She finished only about a min behind me- making up a ton of time with that awesome run.

I can't describe how happy I was to cross that finish line with little physical issues, and just overwhelmed realizing how much I enjoy this sport and how beautiful that course is. After 2 years of not racing I was chomping at the bit!! Winning was just icing on the cake.

At night we enjoyed the awards party, beers and food, and it almost felt like Ironman with the late finish except I could actually keep food down and walk:)

Sunday morning after breakfast a friend from Cabo and I check out and decided to head to Balandra and Tecolote- the most renowned beaches (where the bike turned around) and relax a bit and grab lunch before driving back home. It felt like I was on LOST and really just wanted to pitch a tent and stay a few days.














Now home, Chicago ticket in hand, and with 4 weeks until Galveston 70.3 I have some serious work to do to qualify for Austria Worlds. I feel privileged to be able to train and race- something I can't deny taking for granted many years.