Columbia Triathlon: Lessons from a DNF


It’s been a long time since have DNF’d a race. I have some “drama” filled races in my tri life, but not a DNF before I even got really started.


Sunday was just not my day. Hind sight is a mofo; however, I am blessed to have a coach that refuses to hear the negative before I can rattle off some positive. I don’t know if I can say anything positive; but I did learn some valuable lessons…


1. Respect the Weather & Water

Mother Nature is a straight up BYOTCH and she will kill you if she can in the midst of creating such beauty. It was going to be cold the morning of the race (45 degrees and slowly rising) and to add insult to injury, the water temp was 62. Brrrrrrrr.


I came prepared. I had my neoprene cap, ear plugs, neoprene booties, wet suit, change of shirt & jacket for the bike. DO NOT think that you are even remotely prepared to endure a race of any distance without the proper gear for the air/water temp. YOU ARE NOT. Unless you get 10 bags of ice and put them in your swim spa, practice in an ice bath or swim regularly in a frigid body of water ALL THE TIME ( and NO, your pool is not that cold), then you best bring the gear. IJS.

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Unfortunately, they did not let anyone get in the water before wave starts. No acclimation. The race start was different than I’ve ever done. It was a timed start, run in 2 at a time in your wave and start swimming. I didn’t even think much about it. – BIG MISTAKE. HUGE. I am accustomed to in water starts (or jumping off a ferry and treading water for a min as I move away from someone jumping on my head). With an in water start, yes, it is crowded, but I get to tread water for a few minutes, get used to the water, center my self and start swimming when I get good and damn ready.


Naw – this knuckled head, just ran in the water and started swimming. HOLY COW! THAT WATER WAS SO DAMN COLD. My breath was just sucked from my body. But I can do this…I swam in Lake Michigan for gawd sakes at the Chicago Tri…but OMG!!! I started panting. I tried to get my breath. I grabbed a kayak and tried to get my breathing under control. I knew the longer I messed around, the colder I was getting, so get going. I’m shivering and I tried a few strokes, but my heart was pounding…I couldn’t catch my breath. Kayak #2…I was so cold…BUT I CAN DO THIS. I’VE DONE IT BEFORE. DA HELL IS HAPPENING. I try again…and I just can’t. I can’t breath, my heart is going to come out the top of my head and I’m flailing in the water…OMG I’m gonna drown.


Another swimmer grabs me and holds me up (can I really sink in a wet suit?) I had no more energy, I’m shivering, panting, my chest hurt. Next thing I know, I’m in a boat…and then there are 5 others in the boat. Me and 4 men. I’m bawling. How did this happen to me? What went wrong. The man sitting in front of me starts talking to me – he was 71 years old and done 60 triathlons. He says, don’t be upset. This was not our day – this won’t be the first setback and it won’t be the last.


2. Listen to your body – Live to Race Another Day

Okay. Something was wrong. My body was reacting. I needed to get out of that water…and THANK GOD I did.

I get to the med tent and my blood pressure was 189/90. I was in hypertensive crisis. What might have happened if I had not asked for help? I sat in the med tent for almost 30 min until my blood pressure was at least high normal.


It is not worth it to push on (SHUT UP – I’ve done it – I know – DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO), especially if this is not your A race. Is it worth getting injured to the point of not being able to race at all for a long while…or getting DEAD. NOPE.




3. Remember your WHY.

Why do you do all of this swim, bike and run madness? My why is I do it for me. It is my personal accomplishment that is all mine – my challenge to be a better me each and every day. AND I do it because it is fun and to collect BLING. I’m a BLING Ho! PERIOD. DEAL WITH IT.


I wiped my tears and pulled myself together because THERE ARE NO TEARS IN FUN!


4. Transfer the negative energy into POSITIVE.

I had over 30 MMTC members and almost 10+ BTA members out on the course. My race was over. I could have pack it up and went home. NOPE. I can stand and wait and cheer then home. So many of them have been there for me, in training and in races. The least I can do I stand at that finish and wait and cheer. To get to see my Coach win – OUTSTANDING! To see all my friends make it, through tears, fears and struggle (some less, some more than others) and hug them at the end was the best, most rewarding use of my time…and FEELZ



5. Every setback is the setup to the comeback!

When I got a little down in the dumps about my DNF, I took a look at my racks of bling. My confidence was restored. I CAN! I HAVE! I WILL! I didn’t get them by not living, learning and toeing the line again and again.




A “Do Epic Shit” Weekend

What does a “Do Epic Shit” Weekend look like? It starts with a drive to the Poconos for CIGAR FEST followed by going to West Point to the Athena Arena: 40 Years of Women at West Point and sealed up with a 40 mile bike ride through New York City at the FiveBoroBikeTour. Whew!


Thursday morning (April 28th), The Queen Momz and I leave out to go to CigarFest and attend some of the free events at the Cigar International Stores. We went to the Drew Estate event in Hamburg and then over to the Perdomo Event in Bethlehem.

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We met up with some other Lodge members for the Loyal Order of the Water Buffalo Cigar Club, hung out for a while, spent a lot of moolah and then we hooked up with Lodge 19 (I am the Grand Poobah of Lodge 19) member, IlaGator. Lodge 19 moved the party to Split Rock Resort where CigarFest was being held and attended the Daniel Marshall “Modern Day Campfire” Event.

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I was sure that one of us was going to win one of the awesome prizes, but alas, it was not meant to be. I still have my Daniel Marshall Gold Cigar and plan to take it to Puerto Rico with me to celebrate my 29th anniversary.


Friday, Momz and I were up early to get to the breakfast for the VIP CigarNUTs (yep, that’s us) and scored one of the nice large ceramic ashtrays, although I thought I was going to have to build a defensive perimeter around it or go all ham on some guys who thought that two women smoking cigars would need an ashtray. Beat it, bub. MINE!


We picked up our great military style back packs filled with CigarNut goodies and made our way into the “tent” to go around to meet, great and pick up a cigar from over 50 different Cigar-makers and brand owners. IT WAS AWESOME!

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So, after we made all of our rounds and had spent all of our monies, we loaded up and made our way to West Point to meet up with the Class of 87 Women for a get together and then the conference on Saturday.


It was fantastic to spend time with women grads and to hear from some phenomenal speakers including hearing from the 1st Women Ranger Graduates – all of whom are West Pointers. It was a glorious day for a conference, a parade, Spring Football & Class of 87 Tailgage. Just Simply The Best!!!2016-04-30 11.38.12 2016-04-30 12.00.122016-04-30 12.15.00  2016-04-30 12.44.152016-04-30 16.31.57

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After the tailgate, we (me, ConnieB and Momz) drove down to NYC…and that was an adventure itself – missed a turn and ended up having to go across the Brooklyn Bridge where I made a U-Turn where I probably was no supposed to causing a tad bit of havoc on the road, but I got back across and to our hotel which I would say was not really in Chinatown but actually China. It was GREAT! We picked up dinner at a carry out (yes, Val…it had an A on the door) and Connie and I had to spend a little time reading over the menu and trying to figure out what to get – there was no General Tso Chicken or Schezuan Beef anywhere to be found. What we did end up getting was SLAMMING though. Connie and I pulled our stuff together, debated on whether we should even do the race as it was calling for some serious rain, decided we would play it by ear, and went to bed to get ready for our 40 mile FiveBoroRide.


We decided to go since it was just cloudy and misting a little, picked up some gloves under the Manhattan Bridge from a street vendor (they were Clutch!) as we rode to the start line – we grinned and kept each others spirit and humor up. I couldn’t have picked a better person to ride with in such miserable conditions. Mark Twain once said if you want to know if you really like or hate a person, travel with them. Not only did I travel with my classmate & friend, but we survived 40 mile in the freezing rain together with laughter, good humor and comradery. I wouldn’t have done it or kept going without her there with me. I HAD A BLAST! A perfect end to an EPIC SHYT WEEKEND!


I have been asked would I do this ride again. Probably not. It was so crowded – 40K people on almost as many different bikes and with so much various experience – mostly a lot of people who don’t have the faintest idea of the rules of the road. People would come to a sudden and complete stop in the middle of the road. Stop on the left side blocking people from passing and weaving erratically in and out of the people without saying a word. I saw a lot of unnecessary and/or preventable accidents of which I had no interest in being part of. I was pretty much over it when I saw a guy bite a jersey wall. Yep. No.


I put together a little slide show from the ride. Enjoy


Diva Review: Resistance Bands by Live Infinitley


I was recently offered the opportunity to try Live Infinitley’s Resistance Bands and it came at an awesome time as I have several exercises given to my by my awesome physical therapist. These bands provide varying degrees of resistance and are in a loop style that you can use for a variety of exercises.


If you are looking for a resistance band then look no further. For the price point and the variety you get in the pack, you are getting a lot of bang for the buck.


Product Information:

✦LARGER SIZE✦ At 14" long & 3" wide these loop exercise bands are designed longer and wider than others to provide more versatility and boost comfort! No more scrunching up and cutting into your skin! Easily combine any combination of bands to achieve the exact resistance amount your personal fitness level needs!

✦PROFESSIONAL GRADE✦ This set of resistance bands includes five 14" x 3" loop bands ranging from Light (3-7lbs), Medium (5-9lbs), Heavy (9-15lbs), X Heavy (15-22lbs) & XX Heavy (22-35lbs). Made from the highest quality all NATURAL latex available. These resistance bands are durable, eco friendly and remove the need for any synthetic additives. Enjoy years of total body workouts knowing these are designed for rigorous exercises and will retain their elasticity.

✦PORTABLE✦ With the included traveling case and the compact size of the workout bands you can achieve your fitness goals at home or on the road. Excellent for all types of at home workouts, strength training, stretching, endurance training or physical therapy treatments.

✦ALL INCLUSIVE✦ Every resistance band set includes a FREE eBook with detailed pictures outlining numerous workouts to get the most from your new Live Infinitely product. As well, you get lifetime access to our how-to video collection explaining how to workout your arms, legs, abs and more to sculpt the body you have always wanted!

✦RELIABLE CUSTOMER SERVICE✦ Every purchase is backed with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If your not thrilled, simply contact our reliable customer service team and know you will receive unmatched personal assistance.


You can get your Live Infinitely Resistance Bands by click on the link above. #LiveInfinitely


Diva Review: Live Infinitely Muscle Stick Roller


Here we go with another Diva Review. Today we are going to talk about the 18” Live Infinitely Forever Massage Stick.



I have had a massage stick for quite some time now; however, it was always hit or miss in its use until the past couple of months. After a 10 mile run in January, I had some significant knee pain (mostly focused behind my knee and more pronounced when I sat for a long time and then stood up). It forced me to see my Orthopedic doctor. I was sent to PT. I started using a stick on the regular.


I was already a fan until I got the opportunity to try the Live Infinitely one. The one I have is longer than this one. The Live Infinitely one is shorter and I am able to get a better grip with the handles and apply more pressure since it is not as long.


Here is a short video of me using the Live Infinitely Muscle Stick Roller…


Stop Letting Muscle Aches, Fatigue & Cramps Slow You Down
As a runner or anyone who puts consistent strain on your muscles you begin to encounter shin splints, muscle fatigue, aches or cramps. To some degree these obstacles hit every active person. It begins to slow you down or makes it difficult to continue a workout. By using a massage roller you boost blood flow, break down lactic acid and increase flexibility. You can consistently relieve your muscles, which is critical to maintaining a healthy body and continuing to stay active!

What Makes this Massage Sticks Different From Others?
Live Infinitely massage sticks are the highest quality muscles rollers available which are guaranteed to meet and exceed your expectations.
✦ Durable flex resistant stainless steel core, allowing you to be as aggressive as you need without the fear of bending it
✦ ABS plastic rollers, which are squeak free, durable and BPA free
✦ 18" design, giving you the ability to work those hard to reach muscles – easy to take with you and fit in your gym bag
✦ Ergonomic soft rubber handgrips
✦ Dependable and long lasting for everyday use in recovery or pre/post workouts

What's Included with a Purchase of the stick?
✓ Professional grade muscle roller stick
✓ Lifetime access to how-to videos and use guides. As well as a FREE downloadable eBook outlining preventative massages and everyday uses of your muscle roller
✓ 100% satisfaction guarantee backed by our reliable customer service team


Where do I get one? Click here --- Live Infinitely Muscle Stick Roller.




The TravelDiva’s Totally Tremendous 2016 Race Schedule

Well, I’m a little late getting this out, but I keep getting asked what running, skipping, jumping, flying – completely cray cray adventures I am on in the 2016. Since it is also the year of the HALF CENTURY CELEBRATION – I couldn’t just half step. So, drum roll please….

 photo BannerAnimSBR.gif April 2016

SWHM_logo_pms_colors_2I’m doing this one because I’m doing the Inaugural Disney Paris Half Marathon (my Bday Present to ME!)  and I want the Castle to Chateau medal.

May 2016



I will be kicking off the KING CRAB CHALLENGE on May 8th with the FREDERICK HALF MARATHON (the other races are the Baltimore 10 miler and the Baltimore Half)


Followed up the next weekend with BEAST OF THE EAST --- Those hills are just DISRESPECTFUL

Closing out the month with a little more OWSwimming -
Ft. Ritchie_swim_logo_final


JUNE 2016

The second race in the KING CRAB CHALLENGE SERIES is up first…


ETC-VitargoAnd then it is time to jump off the ferry again as I attempt to get some redemption on that Dante Inferno Sand Dune Run in Hell at Escape the Cape…


JULY 2016

I’m taking on a new challenge with the DUthe2 Challenge with RipIt Events. That is both the Sprint & Olympic distance Duathlon (Saturday/Sunday) Da Hell was I thinking.




I’m going back to where I had my first ever podium finish to reclaim my title and move up the podium at the 27th Annual West Point Triathlon.




I best have my shit together by now as I conquer the Patriots 70.3 Triathlon in Williamsburg, VA

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The I’m off to PARIS for the Inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon (and other shenanigans with my Top Mafia, Pattey)

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sgc-logoFor grins and giggles and with my friend and Fitboo, Misty… The Seagull Century!


Maybe the Metric. We will see!


Followed by the last in the King Crab Challenge Series – The Baltimore Half Marathon..





…and if I can do all of this, I can wrap this thing up with a little jog at the…..






I wrap up the madness with races I have done every year they have been run…

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I think then I will sit my azz down someplace. WHEW!


The Triathlon Training Adventures of Lisa & Lynne

Lynne and I are the dynamic “old lady” (60 & 50 years old respectively) duo on the RipIt Coaching Team. 

Since we have a pretty similar pathetic pace running, we have decided to team up and be accountability buddies and do some of our training/workouts together. Little does Lynne know that hanging with me often results in drama & “adventures.”

We go out for a run today (Airborne Shuffle/walk for me) and everything was going along all hunky dory; beautiful 60degree February morning; we were on the last mile/mile and half when cray-cray in the form of a red Ford F150 comes out of nowhere and practically runs Lynne over. I was a little behind her and jogged to catch up to see if she was okay. We stand there and watch as the truck speeds down the street goes around the traffic circle and comes back. The truck is “rolling coal” -

Rolling coal is the practice of intentionally disabling the Clean Burn Programming of a computer controlled diesel engine, so that the vehicle can emit an under-aspirated sooty exhaust that visibly pollutes the air.
barreling up the road when he suddenly crosses over into on coming traffic. I whip out my phone and start (I think) video tapping. Cars are flying left and right to get out of his way. He is still coming and then veers straight at Lynne and I. Hindsight, we really should have jumped out of the way, but there wasn’t really anywhere for us to go. What did we do instead? Lynne gets behind me as I stand my ground, aiming the phone at him screaming “WHAT!?? You just going to hit me all on video tape!!!”

He slows down, swerves away, says something unintelligible, flips us the finger and proceeds on his rampage….and just like that, a county police officer pulls up behind him, sirens blaring and tries to pull him over. F150 decided to come to a stop in the middle of the street. Just blocking traffic.

Lynne and I had to hang around to bear witness to the actions of the idiot. I thought I had the whole thing on video, but alas, in the excitement I forgot to press the record button and was aiming a non-recording phone at the truck. Go figure. The police finally got the guy out the truck, but then had to get instructions on how to start it again so they could move it off the road. They also ended up calling an ambulance for the thug young man because it looked like he was stoned on something.

Lynne and I walked the mile back to her house and were thankful that nobody got hurt or wrecked.

Training officially starts for me on March 1st. If this is any indication on what the season is going to bring – LAWD HAB MURCY…this is gonna be FUN!

Stay safe out there on these byways. Eyes on Swivel.


Diva Review: Vino Mio Foldable Wine Bottle


I have been know to enjoy some wine from time to time and recently got the opportunity to try out the Vino Mio Foldable Wine Bottle.


It can be quite the challenge to take your favorite bottle to events – especially if they are outside or at a venue that doesn’t allow you to bring in glass. Vino Mio foldable wine bottle is the solution for just those occasions. Take it with you to enjoy an evening out without the risk of broken glass.


Whether you are attending an outdoor concert or movie, camping or something as normal as backyard barbecue, Vino Mio makes transporting your favorite varietal easy and clean.


I decided to try it out at a pre-Army Football Game Tailgate where I had to walk about a mile from the home I was staying in to the tailgate location. I poured a nice bottle of Pinot Noir in the Vino Mio and was off. No clanking against anything else in my tailgate bag and no worry about what would happen if I dropped it.


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After the game & back at the tailgate, I was able to just drop the Vino Mio in my bag. No fuss, no mess, no trash.


Vino Mio Foldable Wine Bottle:

- Leak-proof so you don't make a mess.

- Holds a full bottle of wine (750ml).

- Get a 2-pack for red and white bottle.

- Easy pour spout lets you transfer the wine without spilling.

- Easy to clean after each use.


Bring VINO MIO to any event where alcohol will be served. Pour your favorite drink into the wine bottle with a twist and take it with you to:
- Concerts & festivals
- Backyard barbecue
- Beach outings
- Picnics
- A day on the boat
- Tailgating

Say goodbye to heavyweight glass bottles that weigh you down!


The #VinoMioFoldableWineBottle is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015YMPCAG

It worked for me! Enjoy.