TriForce Family does Nation”s Triathlon Sprint Relay


Momz and I did our 1st race together on Sept 7th at the Nation’s Triathlon. We did the Sprint Relay as the TriForce Family Team. It was my mother’s first race of any kind after picking up cycling just this past year.


Here is a little background…my mother retires about two years ago and one day last fall (rather fall of 2013) she up and says lets go bike shopping. Ummm…say what. We get the bike and then she goes all in and signs up for Spin90, joins a senior ride group, and asks for a trainer for Christmas so she can ride indoors. Seriously?! Cool. How about we do a race together, I say? She doesn’t object (except when I tried to make it an Olympic distance) and tells me that I have to put a training plan together for her. Ummm…okay, den. We train, we spin90 and even after some falls during outdoor spin90, I managed to get her back outside on no/low traffic roads as long as I was with her. She was RET TA GO!


A week before Nation’s she is getting the heebe geebees about how fast she is going to be able to go and how long it is going to take her, so I snatched her cadence, gps & milage meters off her bike and said, “JUST RIDE AND HAVE FUN”. She was going on and on about how she wouldn’t be able to put down more than 8 mph. HUMPH.

She crushed it with an average of 11mph and was cruising at 12.5mph for the 1st 12 miles until we ran out of a little steam heading out and back over the “bumpy” 14th street bridge stretch.


SWIM – NO SWIM (cancelled due to sewage run off from storm the night before)

Nevertheless, everyone had to run into transition as if they were coming off the swim and either go to their bike in transition or meet their relay team member in the relay pen, trade off the timing chip, and then the cyclist goes into transition to get started.


So when my leg is ready to go, I ran as fast as I could into transition into the relay pen. Hand off the timing chip and momz was off…


BIKE – By my momz account…she had a good ride. She was smiling every time I saw her and later told me that the hardest part was the last 4 miles across and back over the 14th street bridge. Those ramps and bumps got to her but she hung in there and brought it into transition with a smile and laughter. I’m still giddy with pride for my mother’s accomplishment. I hope she is too.



RUN – C is for Cookie

I was so damn excited to see my mother come back into transition all happy and ish (prolly cause it was over) that I took off out of transition and made it my mission in life to run down (as much as I could to my ability) the last of the last of the pack. I caught and passed 6 even at my pace of 12:30/12:45. Pure joy and adrenaline carried me through to the finish line.


It was a great day to race with my momz.



I put this slide show together from the race. I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed ourselves.


#BeachWeddingGiveaway: Make Their Dream Come True


My good friend, business partner and fellow West Point Graduate (Marcus Brooks-2007) and fiancĂ© Crystal Hills are both serving as Officers in the Army.  Separated while both in theatre (Afghanistan) and separated in Garrison posts oceans away, their love still finds away. You will say... Ahhh!


They are 1 of 4 finalists in the Seabrook Island Resort Beach Wedding Giveaway.


Check out their story:

Crystal and Marcus have a rather fateful romance going for them. The two met at West Point, then, years later while stationed in separate cities in Afghanistan, struck up a romance that played out over “handwritten letters, spotty Internet connections, and often disconnecting phone lines,” says Marcus. (Between missions, he says he even folded paper origami roses so he could send her a bunch of flowers.) When the two were back stateside, with Crystal stationed in Hawaii and Marcus in Georgia, one visit found him on the mic in a jazz club pouring out his love for her along with a proposal. They danced to “At Last” and soon decided to wed in Crystal’s hometown of Charleston. “We plan to retire there after our Army careers,” explains Marcus. “Crystal speaks of Charleston with reverence, with stories past, and with pure happiness as much of her family still lives there. And after walking along the Charleston’s coast, hand-in-hand with my wife-to-be and almost hypnotized by the gentle lap of the water, I, too, fell in love with the city.” Add in the area’s rich military history, plus the Gullah traditions that they hope to share with his California family, and there couldn’t be a better spot for them to say “I do.”


Please vote for this deserving couple.


There are three ways for you to vote for your favorite couple.


OPTION ONE: Vote right here on this pageevery day if you like!—by simply sharing your e-mail and clicking the 'CAST YOUR VOTE' button at the bottom of this page. (Don't worry, we will only use the e-mail address you supply to ensure a fair voting process.)


OPTION TWO: Head to Facebook, “like” our page, and also “like” the couple’s image.


OPTION THREE: While you’re on our Facebook page, “share” your pick for the winner.



Voting will conclude at 11:59 p.m. EST on September 30, 2014. All votes casted will be counted. The couple with the most votes, "likes" and "shares" will be deemed the Grand Prize Winner. Please note, there’s one vote on the Charleston Weddings website per person per day. The lucky Grand Prize Winner will be notified and their names will be made public by October 15, 2014.


DIVA REVIEW: ScoreBig–Save on Every Ticket. Every Day.

score big
I scored big and was given the opportunity to check out a site that, according to their press release, enables consumers to get great tickets for live sports, concert an theater events – at guaranteed savings of up to 60 %. ScoreBig.com customers get to pick their own price on seats from the floor to the rafters, always paying less than box office price, and never paying any fees.

Sounds good. Here are their quick facts:
  • You are guaranteed to save on each and every ticket on ScoreBig.com
  • Tickets for sports, concerts, theater, Broadway, family shows and attractions
  • No Fees – free delivery
  • Choose Your Seating Area – all seats ordered together will be next to each other
  • Tell us what you want to pay – you have all the control, it’s thrilling!
  • Get an instant answer- you find out right away if your offer has been accepted
Sound great. In the interest of full disclosure, I received a promo code for $100 off an event for tickets purchased through ScoreBig.com

Signing up is easy. No CC needed up front. Just setting up an account. You can actually look at the inventory before you sign up so stay cool. I did that first just to get a feel and then signed up.

Now, this is where it got dicey – FOR ME. If you are a sports fan, then by all means – you better jump in here to score big on some tickets. There were seats available for every Pre-season football game in the area as well as all the other sports. I didn’t look too deep because I have not much interest in sporting events unless it’s an Army Football game (BEAT NAVY SOMEDAY). I did notice that you can search tickets outside of your area as well. So, if you are traveling and want to get in an event or show, this is a great place to search for deals.

Nevertheless, I wasn’t interested in sports, so I started searching for every concert, play, event going on in my geography (DMV) and was VERY DISAPPOINTED. There either wasn’t any availability or there was no more tickets available for any event of interest to me until 2015.

2015 people. Yeah. No.

I ended up doing a generic search of “Family Activities” in the only think at the time that came up was the 2015 Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily: Legends Circus. Mmmm. Okay. Let’s see how many tickets I can get.
So, I had $100 to play with. The box office price is $44.65.  Four star seating was already the front rows so I was happy there. You can choose your seating at other venues. I have to enter a bid. I picked 3 tickets at a bid of $32 and my “Success Potential” meter went just into the green. I hit bid. Sad boo boo kitty. It came back as a NO but with a yes IF I changed my bid to $37.50. Okay. I did and I was booked.

16% savings. Great seats. I paid no fee and the tickets were e-tickets that I just download. Princess Cara will have a great time IF I remember I have tickets to this in March 2015.

Would I use this on a regular to get tickets? Not really, unless I was looking to go to a sporting event which ScoreBig.com seems to have a plethora of tickets for. Plays, concerts and other events…not so much…and I don’t have the time to search and search. I might go and see if the event is listed and available, but if it ain’t there the first time I look then I’m moving on. Nobody got time for all that.

Bottom line…if you want to save big on sporting events, name your own price (through a bidding process – which, when you think about it – isn’t really naming your own price if your bid isn’t accepted. Just sayin’)  and pick your seats in advance, then ScoreBig is the place for you.

Check it out. May the bidding an savings be with you.


Ocean City 1mile Open Water Swim


This is the look of a woman that was so damn glad to GET OUT OF THE WATER!!!  On July 19th, I participated in the Ocean City Ocean Games 1 mile Open Water Swim…and the ocean was hostile that day. The waves – the surf – OMG! It was daunting. I sat on the beach at the start line just staring at the surf wondering first – how I was even going to get in the water and second – what da hell did I sign up for. I was surprisingly calm about the whole thing. I  just kept telling myself that I’ve been riding/diving waves in OC all my life so what makes this so different and if I can just get out to and around the first buoy, I can slog through the rest.


I dove in at the whistle and during my 1 mile journey, I learned the following:

  • I am one with the water. – The water isn’t trying to do anything to me so don’t fight the water. Go with it, ride the swells and just keep moving along.
  • How do you swim any distance in challenging conditions? 10 – 20 strokes at a time. When I stopped after turning the first buoy, I was like…THERE IS NO WAY. Then I yelled at myself to get out of my damn head and give me 20 strokes non-stop and reassess. 20 became 40 became 60---became 1/2 mile. When the water seemed to get more rough, I broke it down to 10 strokes at a time…and I was finally at the turn into shore buoy.
  • Find your rhythm, find your calm/peace. My rhythm was my 20 strokes – look up – adjust aim – 20 strokes. My calm/peace came with the first bullet – don’t fight, don’t flail and humming (yeah, I sing to keep the negative out). I had a wet suit on, I could see the shore, there were plenty of kayaks and jetski’s out there. I AM FINE!
  • JUST KEEP SWIMMING! – let no obstacle, setback or wave in your face get in the way of a noteworthy goal.

I came out of that water in 1:10. Slow as frozen molasses, but I DID THAT DAMN THING, without help, without panicking, with a smile on my face. I came out of that water KNOWING that I can swim in just about anything and can go the distance and more. That was the biggest confidence builder EVER!!


I put together a video slide show of the swim as photographed by The FireMarshall. He is the best Sherpa and Spectathlete on the PLANET! (Next to his trainer – Erin Steptoe, of course).




Race Report: Maryland Olympic Duathlon


This was the redemption tour of this race after last years debacle…if you missed it, read up on it here – Maryland Olympic Duathlon 2013 Race Report -


Last year was awful. I felt awful. I was still in pain from the foot injury, I was trying to train myself and it was just not coming together. AT ALL. I passed out at the end of last years race and knew, once I came to and was reassured I had crossed the finish line, I needed help.


I teamed up with RipIt Coaching and submitted myself to the rigors of a coaching plan from Danny & Suzy Serpico…and slowly but surely, under their tutelage, I have been making a comeback to the best me!


July 13th, 2014 was an EPIC day.


First, my BFF from since the beginning of time (40+years) and West Point Classmate who is like back in Oakland Mills Wrestling/Football Team shape (Mike Bennett), threw down the gauntlet and surprised me by signing up to do the race with me. WOW! It made this redemption race all the MO BETTA!

MikeLisaStart1RUN 2 MILES – 26:08 (+16 sec –bout the same as last year)

I took my time. My game plan was to take it easy, constant run, feel good and put it into the bike. I was happy with it.



BIKE 26 MILES – 2:14:43

HOT DIGGITY DAMN. Almost 4 min off last years time. You better werk!!! I still need lots of work on hills and climbing but I am so psyched about this progress on a rather challenging course. Those hills are NO FRIGGIN JOKE!!


What was different? Spin90, hydration/nutrition and a TIGHT HEAD GAME. I was ready – mind and spirit – for that second look. Just get ‘er done…and I DID.


BTW – I renamed my bike…OATH KEEPER (if you are a Game of Thrones fan, you will get the reference). Keeping my oaths, one stroke, one spin, one step at a time.


RUN 4 MILES – 1:12:07 LisaRun

Even though it was HOT AS HELL and my legs still felt more like cement blocks than bricks, I knocked 4 MIN OFF OF LAST YEARS TIME!! GO FRIGGIN ME!!! All I wanted was to finish standing up this time and to feel good (pain free) and that is how it went down. Shawn from HardBodies came and got me for the last 2 miles and for a short period I lost it. I got in my head that I was disappointing him, that if I didn’t get it together I would be letting him AND Suzy down. I think he could see me falling apart. I don’t know/remember what he said but just as fast as I was crumbling, he had me calm again – just like that – and back focused. And there was the finish line…


VICTORIOUS! with a total of  –9 Min off of last years time. RIPPING IT!


As for Mike, He RIPPED IT and RIPPED it good for his first race. AWESOME SAUCE!


UP next…The Ocean City Games 1 mile Open Water Swim – IN DA OCEAN! Stay Tuned.


Product Review: OOFOS Footwear - #FeelTheOO



I’ve seen products like these at just about every race expo I’ve been to and was very excited to get the opportunity to try a pair out. My feet are flat as a pancake and ache no matter what I do after every running race, thus I was sooooo ready to #FeelTheOO.


I have been wearing them for the past month and they have traveled near and far to every training workout and a few races…

        40 mile bike rebel race

            Post 40 mile Ride                         Post Rebel Race Obstacle Course


               du  du2

               Post Maryland Olympic Duathlon – 2 mi Run/26mi Bike/4 mi Run


….and my feet feel FANTASTIC. I actually have let out the OOOOOHHHHAAAA! sigh after putting them on. Now, I will have to start planning on leaving a gear bag (which I never do) at races so I can have my OOFOS at the end of a race. Yesterday, after the Duathlon, I wore my OOFOS and a pair of compression sleeves over to a dinner at my friends house and by time I went to bed – not a ache to moan over. I’m sold.


SO…What is OOFOS Footwear?

- OOFOS footwear is powered by an innovative and proprietary OOfoam technology combined with a patented footbed design

- A unique combination of a proprietary foam compound and an innovative foot-bed design resulting in a glorious sensation that has to be felt to be believed

· 37% shock absorption than any other foam material currently being used in the footwear market.

· Each step OOFOAM disperses your body’s impact to the side of the shoe, rather than coming up back through your body.

· Allows the body to recover after athletic activity. Endurance athletes in particular benefit from the well-designed massaging footbed.

· Countless testimonials on our social media from people who have found relieve from plantar fasciitis and other foot pain thanks to wearing OOFOS.

Recovery Shoes not “flip-flops”

· OOFOS footwear are not sandals or flip-flops. They are shoes that integrate a revolutionary foam technology that makes yOO feel better!

· Flip Flops are a generic term for a style of shoe that are sold everywhere. In many instances some “flip flops” are not recommended by the medical community due to issues some consumers have come to develop with their feet. OOFOS footwear actually offers benefits to the consumer.


I’m sold! I love them and I believe you will too. And just for trying them out, I have a free shipping code for you. Visit http://store.oofos.com/ and enter code: CREWnorth to get your free shipping. I have the OOFOS OOriginal – Women's in Fuschia (of course). Get yours so you too can #FeelTheOO



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


Race Report–RipIt Events EC5K


                                                    NUFF SAID!!!


This is what exhilaration and victory look like. Victory over pain, victory over fear, doubt and uncertainty. PURE JOY. Did I complete the 5K in a pace to write home about? NOPE. However, there is victory in the small blessings…

  • I RAN the whole way, even uphill.
  • I RAN without pain. The foot is on the mend. FINALLY.
  • I was not DAL (dead ass last).
  • I finished feeling like I could have done the 10k.

The journey to IM70.3 Princeton is looking good. The plan is coming together and I’m gaining ground week by week. I do have “bad” days…like when you are in the lane with some kid from the swim team and they lap you doing the damn back stroke. BASTID. Or when someone 20 years your senior passes you on a hill climb on a gosh darn hybrid. SERIOUSLY?!! And EVERYBODY runs faster than me, so I’m at least over that.



Truth of the matter is that I’m competing with only myself and I am whoppin’ her ass day by day.


Let’s RIP IT!!