Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Big Move

Actually it won't be that big- more like my bikes, bike box, clothes, and some pictures....
I'm still in San Antonio, and have been getting some good warm training. Yesterday I did an hour run with my local ART guy- Dale Londos- and that was phenomenal. We ran through Olmos Park and part of Incarnate Word Univ. It was pretty up-tempo and hilly with some trail. Back at his studio, I got in 90min of ART which left me feeling golden!
The plans for the Cali move have changed a little. Originally, I was going to drive out with my mom but she starts her real estate work like the 3rd of Jan and there's no point in hassling her with the long drive and packing stress. So, now the trip goes like this: the 31st I'll head to Austin in the morning and pick up Blake who gets in today and will be there training with a friend. We'll drive up to Dallas, spend New Year's Eve, I'll load up everything in the car as efficiently as possible and hopefully we'll be on the road the 2nd before sunrise. Blake's planning his move out to Cali as well so we kill two birds with one stone as he'll spend a couple of days out there training and looking for potential jobs.
We'll probably land in Mission Viejo around the 4th and I move in with the Magers on the 6th. It should be a fun road trip and hopefully my packing goes smoothly and I don't forget anything essential.
My mom and bro are planning a spring trip out there which will be perfect and a more relaxed way for them to enjoy SoCal and meet the Magers.
Training has been going great. The consistency is spot on and I've slowly been adding some bursts of intensity with no random fluctuations in HR :) I can't wait to be formally into 2009, settled in my new environment with full focus.
I'm happy to announce 2 new sponsors for 2009: Newton Running and Gu :)
My New Year resolution is simple: continue my love and appreciation for triathlon my family,friends, & sponsors that help make my dreams possible, and reciprocate by training and racing my heart out!!
Happy New Year

Thursday, December 25, 2008

San Antonio

Well, I finally made it down to SA. I can't say I was very excited to drive down. Blake and I stayed up pretty late Tuesday night- nothing crazy just watching movies, but it still made for a harsh 7am wake up. We scrambled to get our stuff packed and I headed to Baylor for a hard 1hr weights session. Blake took off for Lubbock around 10:30 and I left shortly after....around 11ish. The trip was a little scary as I was very tired and nearly fell asleep a couple of times. I stopped at a rest area at one point to try and nap for a short 20-30mins but got paranoid of falling asleep alone in my car with my beautiful bike just begging to be messed with. Anyway, thankfully Austin wasn't a beating with the traffic and I stopped at Whole Foods thinkinkg I would nap there and then go inside to eat before the final hr drive home. Well that didn't happen. I went in to use the restroom and the yummy foods got to me so I ended up just eating and then continuing my drive. I got home and just crashed on the bed for about 45mins until it was time to go to my stepdad's for x-mas dinner. That went smooth...we were there until about 9pm, did some present opening, etc. No more wine for me last night. After a solid 3-4 nights of bottle-splitting with Blake it was time to wrap up the "holiday indulgence" until next year, less I end up in AA instead of Kona haha ;)
Today my mom goes to Houston with my stepdad for another gathering and my bro, dad, and I will be chilling here probably renting a movie or something relaxing like that. The weather is looking amazing for the next few days and today the plan is to hit up Stone Oak for a good 3ish hrs ride with my brother. He's pumped up about his new clip-ons, saddle, and Radars and it will feel nice to trash his little legs under the superstar equipment he's got going hehehe. Hey, it's good to kick his butt a little while I still can :)
So that's about it. Now that I'm settled here for a couple of days I should have my "Outliers" review on my lit. blog soon!
Well, I gotta get the coffee going...great training's on call!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Reading for knowledge, power, and fulfillment

Check out my new blog:! I'll be analyizing literature as a means to promote creative and analytical thinking for myself and others. Finally I get to enjoy books on subjects that interest me and not because my teacher said to read :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Texas is Bipolar

After practically a week of muggy conditions in the 30s, yesterday we were hit with mid 70s by the afternoon and today looks to be the same. But by tomorrow we're back to frigidness. No wonder people get sick at this time of the year...the body is in constant temperature shock.
However, I am definitely not complaining at any appearance of summer-style weather. My streak of pool-greatness continued yesterday. Blake and I stayed up a bit late so I didn't wake up for 7am masters. Instead I did my own workout with lots of stroke mixed in and I have to say that "fly" and I have a love/hate relationship that's building on the love side :)
Once home we had a quick lunch and headed to White Rock and got in a little over 2hrs on the bike. Boy did it feel good to get off the trainer! I thought I'd go for 3ish hours, plus I wanted to soak in as much of these conditions as possible, but the legs spoke to me and after 2 I circled back to the car and called it a day. No need to turn a solid ride into a breakdown workout.
Then we came home and got in my apt complex pool which thanks to mother nature is at like 50F- the perfect ice bath. The hot tub logically followed that and after we splurged on some awesome Alaskan King Crab legs that were on super sale at Whole Foods. Had that with some avocado, chili, and lime.
We decided to stay in so we ran over to Vino 100 picked up a good bottle of red and came back to watch a movie.
Today on schedule is a short 45min ish run, 90min ride, weights, and swim. I'm thinking DAM at SMU in the 50m pool. This and tomorrow's swims will be my last in the SMUs outdoor pool so I can't miss out.
I'm surprised at how well my body is responding to the build in volume this week. Lookng at my totals I'll have put in roughly 20hrs, and no sign of fatigue :) Next week I'll lighten up though as well as the following one which will have the added stress of moving. It's essential to get to SoCal fresh and ready to rock.
I just signed up for Surf City right now so that'll be my first feedback on leg speed for the year.
Well, not much else going on...a couple more pages left in "Outliers" and once the sun is up it's run time!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Almost the Holidays

I've really been enjoying this downtime. Usually my winter breaks were still a bit stressful planning the next semester and excitement was obscured by monotony. This time every new day is a step forward into the drastically different life that 2009 brings. It's a transition period that I'm soaking in as much as possible.

I'm almost done with the book. Gladwell really spoke to me on this one and I'll definitely get Blink and Tipping point after I finish. How our environment, culture, family upbringing, friends, and "chance" occurences blend together to either help bring out the best in us or make our fight that much harder is truly spectacular.

Anyhow, Friday my little brother gets out of school but I won't be down in SA until the 24th...I'll be leaving first thing that morning in time for the Holiday dinner at my stepdad's.

Blake is actually on his way up here to stay until then. We both decided our lives with everyone from school gone and this crappy weather were better off shared...misery loves company. It looks like Texas will show its randomness again and bring us temps in the 70s for Fri and Sat so we'll try and get in a 2-3hrs ride at the lake those days- grab 'em when you can!

Training has been going well...nothing structured- well at least not by my coach. I'm just writing my own day to day workouts right now, giving it some reasonable outline but nothing strict to feel guilt about if I don't feel up to it. I've been swimming masters almost every day and am feeling great in the water. Strength training's getting into swing now and my legs are feeling solid. It's all been about consistency and steady efforts- nothing speed related at all.

I think I announced my new coach, but in any case, I stopped working with Ahmed from Playtri when my collarbone broke back in July and coached myself through the end of the season. Before Cancun in Sept, I got in touch with Kevin Purcell and hit it right off. I found in him a deep care and knowledge that I had in Heather last year and I knew we could work very well toward my goals and build a strong relationship. He oversaw my training into AZ and what can I say, it all went good as ever!

'09 will be spent mostly staring at the black line submerged in chlorine. A lot of base miles, and mid season peak, then a short 2-3 week break to freshen up, and a hell of a peak going into Kona.

For now, it's all about living in the moment and hoping all is well for friends and family...wishing for a healthy and successful 2009 :D

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mellow days

It's Monday again, although other than a reminder to avoid rush hour, it's still a weekend in the freedom sense of the word for me. Today is in the 30s here in Dallas- a dramatic change to the weekend's temperatures. Yesterday I went to watch Blake at the White Rock Marathon. That was a blast and since it was in the 60s it was pleasant for sitting outside the AA Center and watching the race on the big screens. The male leader got led wrong, or took himself off course, but in any case had that little mishap which was a bit of a shame. Either way it's incredible to see the elites run, or actually fly! Despite the mild temps, the wind ended up being a big obstacle for the runners.
After that we came home and I went on a short run while Blake napped, took a snooze myself after the run, and then headed to dinner at Pappadeux. It was the perfect occasion to enjoy a glass of wine- my first in over a year! I got ID'd and loved pulling out my license...pretty ironic that once I'm 21 I get questioned and never before that haha.
On our way home we drove through Highland Park, gazing in awe at the incredible lights of those ridiculously beautiful homes. Once home I wasn't tired at all even though it was pretty late so got to bed around midnight.
But considering the tiny amount of sleep I need (or seem to need), I woke up without alarm at 5am to get ready for morning masters.
I've been loving masters the past few days- the water is just clicking. I'm looking forward to becoming a fish this next season, consistency and two-a-days will be key.
All that's left now is some light packing tonight and tomorrow and then maybe driving down to San Antonio- I'm still undecided because I don't want to put in those extra miles, or seat time, when I'll be driving to California in less than a month.
I repeat this pretty much on every post haha, but once again I cannot shut up my excitement for moving to SoCal!!!! Saturday I was even happier to hear that my good friend, Lisa Preeg, from Austin just bought a house near Solana Beach! I look forward to hitting the mountains and trails with her and others out there.
Well, time to open up this new book I bought- Outliers by Malcolm's the perfect fit for my current state in life. In short, it's about grasping opportunities with perserverance and achieving great success.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A short mental break

This post enables me to take a short step away from my paper, due tomorrow at the time of my last exam- 11:30. I cannot wait! I just got back from dinner with Jeannine and Roberto. We went to Kozy Cafe on Mckinney and I must say that place is hands down the finest dining in Dallas. I had a delicious caprese salad and wild salmon with vegetables that at any of the city's social hot spots would have cost 2-3times as much. I hadn't been there since they first opened a little over a year ago and they re-decorated it pretty cool. Also I love how it's still BYOB. I'm thinking of taking Blake there tomorrow or Saturday.
This weekend will be cool and next week I'll likely head down to San Antonio around Wednesday....after packing up most of my stuff to get it ready for the road trip to California!
My mom and I will be back in Dallas around New Years to load up my car and head for SoCal. It'll be a long time in the car seat but quality mom-daughter talks will make it fun.
Alright back to the dreaded paper...

Monday, December 8, 2008

THE week

This is it! Friday at 2pm I will be done with college. All I can say is that these three years flew by. In a way I'm very excited (can't you tell??) to put papers, projects, presentations, group stuff (I have a strong dislike for groups because I'd rather do it how I want , when I want to), deadlines, studying, etc, etc etc AWAY. However, a part of me is also scared. After all, my entire life has revolved around a school routine, not just at the micro level of class schedules but macro with Holidays and Summer. Now summer is a relative term- it'll just mean the weather rocks. My life in California for 2009 will be a completely new experience and one that I'm very grateful to be able to have. I've never been to Mission Viejo- last summer I was in Encinitas- but my internet research shows it's an excellent place for training and beautiful.
A lot is riding on my training and racing for 2009 as it will determine whether or not I can get my P-1 visa (for professionals wishing to live/compete in the US) at the end of the year so as to remain here for at least 5 more years. This is worth more than a million dollars for me so when I toe the line at races next year, although I'm not a pro and am not racing for money to feed myself and my family, (at least for me) I'll be racing for something equally as important- the opportunity to stay in this country by proving I can compete with the pro women.
Classes are over now, it's just finals. Tomorrow I have a paper due and an exam at noon, and then nothing until my last exam and other paper on Friday. Blake gets in Friday and it should be a fun weekend. I hope he kicks butt in the WR Marathon. I'll hae fun spectating with a warm cup of coffee :D
Training formally resumes this week. Last Tuesday was when I officially felt back to normal and when I finally got on my trainer Friday and did a short run I was thrilled that my legs did not feel like they'd done an IM at all! I'm confident that I've been able to successfully hold some IM fitness and transition it well into '09 training. I'll be sure to take it easy until I land in Cali and after that it's GAME ON!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I bought a lottery ticket today

I don't do this very often, practically never, but I figured yesterday was my birthday and graduation is next Friday so if Heaven wants to drop me one it's gotta be now right?!?! Damn I hope so :D!

Anyway, this got me thinking...

Everyone would be quite pleased with hitting the jackpot right? But in reality how many of us would actually do something useful with money? Or forget that, at a bare minimum how many of us could actually preserve this wealth so that our kids and grandkids could continue to enjoy the effects of our lucky day?

I think this was on an Oprah show not too long ago where various lottery winners came on and the majority of them had lost it all in a very short period of time.

"No fair" we think, "why did he/she have to win?", "I would have done so many great things with that money", or "I actually need it more than that person!".

Haha, yea, but life is not fair we know that. Money comes to many hard working good people, but also to others not so deserving nor kind at all.

But...and I get all excited and tingly thinking of this hehehe...IF I WERE TO WIN:

1) I would without any other thought crossing my head, take my mom for 2 weeks to one of the nation's best spas

2) I would give a large portion to my mom, nothing could ever repay what she's sacrificed for me but something's something.

3) I would put some away from my brother's education- the kid can swim but for D1 you never know :D

4) I would first consult with my step dad, but likely get a financial advisor. With their two heads together, and my mom's I would set some apart for some safe ROI stock

5) I would start a youth development center in Mexico, that would grow to become a staple in other Latin American countries too, for sports. namely for kids of very low income families. Too much talent is never discovered due to lack of money in third world countries.

6) I would purchse a modest (no MTV CRIBS style) house in North County San Diego...preferably more inland as Coast is more expensive and I like inland better (warmer!)

7)I would take the GMAT and get my Sports Management MBA in San Diego (they don't offer international student scholarships so the lottery is needed for this one)

8) Of course, I'm human so I'd buy my brother a sweet car (not something retarded that you can't drive in the US considering our pedestrian speed limits like a ferrari)...and him and I would deck out our triathlon equipment

9) The rest would go in the bank...probably overseas with our banker peeps here not doing so well

Would this change my or my family's happiness? Not really. I mean, and this is always the big money debate amongst people, we wouldn't love each other more or less..heck we could even turn greedy and end up in a horrible family fight! But sincerely, it would take 10 tons of stress off our backs and no one can argue that being stress free does not produce more content people. The way I like to explain it, and this is why people work their butt off throughout their life to attain a higher position in the company, start their own business, or "make it big" in doesn't directly yield happiness it just makes things better. If one of my family members had a health condition and no health care, my family and I would be much better off with the financial ability to meet that situation.

Alright, a bit outside the topic of triathlon on this post....however, it does relate since I'd be able to train and race as much as my heart desired!

Wish me luck haha

Friday, December 5, 2008

2 - 1

When I was 15 I couldn't wait to be 21. I partied like a rockstar back then...YES I ACTUALLY PARTIED, ha.

I refer to it as my rebellious teenage times, we're all supposed to have those right? That's where my tennis started to plummet- go figure. I was spending too much time trying to be cool by staying up late, driving my mom's minvan (we called it the mommy-mobile) without a license from Saddlebrook, in Wesley Chapel, FL, to Tampa's night club area called Ybor. 15, with a fake ID, and hitting up the night life- what a stud huh?

That lasted about 2 years, during which time I gained weight by eating the absolute worst you possibly can, enjoying a few drinks, and skipping tennis practice.

In case you're wondering what drives me now, in my 20s, what's supposed to be the prime of your life, to be so disciplined in triathlon to the point that in all of my college years I've had tops a couple of glasses of wine spread out over monthly intervals, have not been to a single night club, or any party for that matter, and in fact gone to bed no later than 10pm's my incredible regret that I didn't appreciate the enormous sacrifice my parents made in moving with me to Florida and paying insane amounts of money, all for me to make it to the top level in tennis.

I had the talent, after all I was #1 in TX in my age. Perhaps I wouldn't have won Wimbledon, but I know that with the dedication to nutrition and fitness that I have now for triathlon, I would have achieved top pro ranks.

It's a sad fact, but we all make mistakes. Except mine was at the cost of my family's finances, and my health and untapped potential.

Sure there were some great times and experiences at Saddlebrook, my brother (8ish at the time) enjoyed the lakes and golf course...he was like Mogli (from Jungle Book) always running around barefoot, fishing, hitting golf balls, or kicking butt at the motor cross race track on the weekends (until he broke his arm and my mom decided it was time for a new sport hehe). I got to meet people from all over the world, and in a way some would say I "lived life".

Then it all changed. After the year in which I established some incredible friendships from my friends who were boarding at Saddlebrook from Latin America, they were going back home for good, and I became pretty depressed. I realized nothing in life is forever. They were leaving and I was stuck fat, out of shape, my family struggling to pay another year at the Academy, my tennis in pathetic form, and my schooling (due to the fact that we attended about 2-3 hrs of school/day) at an all time low.

That's when my mom and I had a serious talk and we made the move BACK to San Antonio. I returned to my old high school, Alamo Heights, that is nationally recognized as one of the top public schools. It was time to get my academics back together, and get into a good college because tennis was definitely not going to get me a scholarship anymore, and I was actually tired of it.

That whole summer I cut alcohol out of my life for good. I promised never to even go near a cigarette again (not like I smoked but I did one or two socially). I got my butt in the gym every morning and changed my diet 110%.

It's amazing, but when you eat healthy and MOVE you feel incredible, look good, and have a revived positive outlook on life. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?! In all seriousness though, in a matter of weeks I was feeling alive, I woke up at 6am without an alarm clock, I was in a better all made me realize that when we are stuck in an unhealthy routine, we don't know what we're missing. How incredible true wellness really is!!

That's why when friends tell me "you need to go out, party, live life", (I sound middle aged saying this haha) I know that I've been there done that. I feel lucky that I realized this so young and not in my 30s. As a triathlete now wanting to compete at the pro level, I cannot put into words how I look up to the people that have been steady disciplined athletes without faltering their whole life. When we're young we feel invincible but it is these years that set our bodies up to handle our older times.

Enough of my philosophical musings I celebrate my 21st birthday with nothing but excitement and optimism for what my future holds. I'll be graduating and moving onto a new chapter of my life in another state with goals I never would have imagined only a few years ago.

I got a swim in this morning and am headed in a little while to Sushi Axiom with a group of friends, mostly triathletes :), in Ft. Worth. I've been on a sushi binge since Arizona because experience has taught me not to eat any raw seafood during the season :)

Other than that, it's a continuous grind with finals still going on for another week!