Thursday, June 23, 2011


As we age we undoubtedly pass through many stages. But they are not merely childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, "middle-age", & old age. The intricacies of those general, numerical based, stepping stones are individual paradigm shifts influenced from preceding experiences. Over time they help us find our “true self”. That is to say, the passions and interests embedded in our subconscious.

Some people go through life with a building block that is more or less set for them from a very young age by either their parents or themselves. I have friends that in middle school knew they were going to be doctors and, of course, are now full into their residency programs. A few were simply drawn to that field on their own. Others fell into it by way of tradition- one or more of their relatives practiced medicine. I also had girlfriends that from the time they could hold a doll you could see their faces illuminated with joy. They are now happy moms.

So where am I going with this…since this is a blog (primarily an athletic one), and you certainly didn’t click the link to read an entire book! 

Well, it’s my preface to explaining- not that I owe anyone an explanation, I just like to share my journey with others- why I decided (not on a whim!) to go to law school.

First, if you know me at all you know that I love to argue. That doesn’t mean I’m aggressive or angry, but the thrill of a good debate yields as much happiness and endorphins as the feeling of an “effortless” long run. As well, since the time I could thread words together I’ve been told I’m a natural manipulator. Too often people associate manipulation with deceit, selfishness, and basically deem it a vice. In the right context/use I believe it’s a virtue. I’m not advocating utilitarianism without the premise that it be good for the whole vs simply the individual- which as an attorney plays a vital role: arguing your case for the good of society (except of course defending a criminal/murderer). Namely, if you can manipulate a situation, or rephrase it, so that you can switch others’ perception for the best, then that is a virtuous skill!

Second, I didn’t just wake up one day and say “eh, to heck with this pro triathlon thing, time to move on to….hmmm….ooh, I know: law school”. By no means am I burnt out on this sport, and am certainly not giving up on my goal to turn pro one day (the day when I legitimately belong there- not just have a card in my wallet that labels me elite). Since I finished undergrad and moved out to California, I’ve slowly come to understand, by trial, that to be the best athlete you can be you need to balance it. Being an extremist, I figured if I had 24/7 to train, eat, sleep I’d reach my potential. Friends and family can say they told me so, but I needed to see for myself, in my own way, that it’s not the case.

As well, we can pretend to not care or like certain things, but the reality is we can choose what we like better but not what we actually like, for that is entrenched in our being (the soul, if you will) and sooner or later it will resurface. I told myself I didn’t care about pinching pennies, making minimal dollar as I chased my dream. But I call bulls**t on myself. I am entirely grateful for the privileged upbringing I was afforded and certainly want to maintain that lifestyle to old age. It is easy to go up, hard to go down. Plus, my passions have always related to the study of law. All of my free time as well as my elective courses in school, were filled with philosophy, sociology, political science, the Supreme Court, and debate. Moreover, as a highly driven individual, I’ll reiterate that it kills me to be 23 and not supporting myself at least more than 50%, immigration issues or not.

However, pertaining to the immigration side of things, law school certainly supports my trajectory toward permanent residency in the US.

Allow me to digress a bit and explain the immigration law:
- Right now I am on H-1B status for a part time job with Brundage Mgt. That visa does not lead to a green card.
- If I am hired for full time employment by Brundage, or any other company (a company has to sponsor you which entails proving you are more qualified than their US applicants, as well as pay the legal fees to bring you in to their co.) then that is grounds for a Green Card. But, for Mexicans, for the Green Card to yield permanent residency there is a backlog to 2005. This means all cases filed since 2005, go before mine. Translation: I see residency YEARS down the line- meanwhile I am working at a company that may or may not reflect my interests/skills or pay well.
- If my mom, now a citizen from marriage (sadly after I had turned 18) files for me, that is backlogged to 1992!! Haha…you see where that is going: nowhere!
- Another option, or miracle hehe, would be to suddenly become so amazing in triathlon that I am deemed “world class” and granted an O-1 visa which is like a green card. That, if possible, will not be anytime soon.
- However, with a masters degree- JD, MBA, what have you- if you are hired after graduation, it is an immediate Green Card with NO BACKLOG!

Ok that’s the short bit in layman’s terms. Wait, yes, there is the other fairy tale scenario that I meet my American prince charming and overnight I’m a US Citizen. Any takers? ;)

Back to my decision…

My mother half jokingly, half really not, told me when I mentioned LSAT registration, “you know, this could’ve been a lot easier right when you finished undergrad at SMU, and it would’ve saved a lot of money that went to triathlon. Also, you haven’t been in school in over three years, don’t you think you’ll be “rusty” to say the least?”

Let’s break that analysis apart: 1) It would not have worked at all for me to get a masters straight from undergrad. The reason is twofold. First, I was entirely OVER school. I had been a hard working, honors student for approximately 15 yrs and to say my brain needed a break is an understatement. Just like you need mental and physical breaks after a long season(s) or racing, I am a firm believer in academic breaks. Secondly, I had this triathlon bug, and my stubbornness that will make a great lawyer of me one day, was not going to accept anything but packing my car and heading to SoCal to swim, bike, and run. You cannot go into something as hard, and expensive, as grad school without being 100% committed to it.

Therefore, as dreadful as pursuing law school in 2009 would’ve been, going for it fall 2012 will be wonderful. My maturity, enthusiasm, and peace of knowing I can still make the most of athletics as I chase a challenging and financially rewarding career, will allow me to be the best student I am capable of those 3 years.

All that said here’s how I am going forward:

July 5th through August 18 I’ll be taking Kaplan’s LSAT prep course in La Jolla. Then I go home to TX & will be writing my personal statement and fulfilling all the other admissions requirements before heading to Kona late September. In Hawaii, Oct 1 I’ll take the LSAT and as soon as my score comes in will send in my application to the following schools: UT Austin, UC Berkeley, USC, Stanford, & SMU.

If I get in to any of those I’m on my way to becoming a lawyer 

If not, I’ll keep seeking out full time employment at a PR/Ad agency while still working part time for Brundage.

Of course, through it all, you can rest assured that all my free time will be filled with swims, bikes, and runs.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Race Recap

I'm getting tired of race reports, ha. Regardless, here's a very short version of my day which I was very pleased with. I PR'd for that course, didn't best my time from Vineman last year, but in 20-20 hindsight it was a bit ambitious given that Honu is a much tougher course/conditions.


My plan was to find Bree and hang on for dear life. That would've worked perfect except that the whole front line(s) of swimmers were past the start boeys and they kept screaming at us to move back or they wouldn't start. No one was budging, but slowly some people began to move a bit toward the line so I turned to swim a bit in and just as I did that BOOM!

So bye bye ended up being an all out sprint to try and escape the arms, legs, shoulders, hips, WHACK, over and over. It was a cluster F*&*# until the first turn where I was nearly sunk to the ocean floor, then it settled a bit to the finish.

I was pleased on where I came out. I intended about a 28high/29 swim and felt like I swam that pace/effort once I got that clearness on the first turn.

Lesson: never ever turn your back on the start!!

Bike- not windy. your typical slight crosses in Hawi but totally mellow. A fast day for sure. I felt great but was dying to get off my bike!!! It was to be my last ride in Look pedals/cleats that have been my nightmare for over 4 years now as the q-factor/alignment, whatever the hell, has always felt wrong no matter who fits me and it's never a pain free ride or one that I can avoid stopping at least 2-3 times to adjust them (to no avail).

At least I had set them in an OK position whereby in the end I was only feeling my left IT and right adductor tight.

Run- sooo happy I got my nutrition/hydration all worked out. I felt good and had no cramps, or stomach pains. Went 1:40. Not fast, but couldn't have run faster. Coming from TX, I can attest it was BAKING out there. Just seeing that no women ran under 1:30 tells ya.

So I finished in 4:56, 2mins faster than last yr :) I rolled the Kona slot and didn't take the Vegas one.

Now it's time to really pump in miles and hours- especially on the bike- haven't ridden remotely long since I left CA in March, so I'm stoked to go explore! Also, it will help sooo much that I can ride without discomfort, or having to stop numerous times.

I'm a bit tired, but have slept good and am not sore. Running these last two days feels awesome, and I'm easing into the weekend where I'll start my most solid/detailed prep for Vineman and then tackle on some beastly miles for Kona thereafter.

goal is right around 4:40 at Vineman, and of course sub 10 or bust in Kona :D

Texas left me right where I wanted- fresh from lack of volume, sparky with some great speed workouts, sound from excellent nutrition & recovery, and hungry/motivated from my mental recharge and inner focus.

time to get 'er done, and nothing will get in the way.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


After roughly 12 hours of travel from San Antonio to Phoenix to San Jose...I'm finally in Kona! It's hard to believe this is my 8th trip to the Big Island. 7 for racing, one for a camp back in 2008. Since 2007, 2008 has been the only year I haven't raced here. I've really come to embrace this island as a second home, cheesy as that may sound. I'm beaming with joy like a kid on Christmas morning when I step off the airplane.

The travel was real smooth- except for the $200 bike fee courtesy of United Airlines. I had pleasant people next to me on each flight, no delays, in fact we even arrived 30min early!

I got my rental car in like 15min and sped off to settle in at the most awesome condo I've stayed in out of all my trips! We're right in Waikoloa Beach Resort across from the Kings Shops, and with a lakeview :)

Last night I was solo, but today Sara C, her friend, and her ex arrive- fun group.

Saying goodbye to my family was sad, but at the same time it was rewarding to know that the last 2 months were filled with good times, solid training, and that it'll only be a few months before I'm back home.

Monday, Memorial Day, my brother & I raced CapTex Sprint and technically we both won Overall :) I say technically because my brother tied to the second 1:05:26 with another junior- really a cool sprint finish to watch- he caught him at the finish chute turn!

Anyway, I'm feeling great about Saturday. This Island has given me plenty of ups and downs, and I know that pretty much every race Half Iron or Ironman, will unfold like a rollercoaster and success will only be determined by how well you limit and handle the dips.

I'm here to PR from my 4:49 at Vineman last year, and with that will hopefully land among the top women competing.

There's not much to do at this point but be thankful for the opportunity to once again be on that start line. For that I owe my parents, stepdad, coach, the Nytro Women team that continuously raises the bar and inspires me, and our sponsors (see rght column of blog)!

Today, after 11.5 amazing hours of sleep and some Kona coffee that has me wired like crack, I'm off to swim at Hapuna, then packet pick up, and a short ride :)

May the spirit of Aloha be with everyone on Saturday!