Journey to IMMD: If it ain’t raining, You ain’t training…

2017-04-22 11.48.18

Saturday, I had 40 miles to knock out in Training Peaks. Earlier in the week, I scoped out a trail that I had not done before that I had heard was awesome! Paved, flat and uninterrupted – The Western Maryland Rail Trail.


I wanted something a little closer to home that I wouldn’t have to worry about cars and such. The weather was looking iffy, but the weather report said it would be cloudy on Saturday and rain on Sunday. It would suck for the Half Marathon but so be it. I packed everything up on Friday night and was ready to roll.


Mmmm Hmmm…I want that job where you can be dead ass wrong 50%+ of the time and still get paid the big bucks. I woke up early on Saturday to rain. Uggahh!!


I piddled around and wasted a hour debating what I would do. I stared at my trainer for what seemed like an eternity dreading 40 miles on the trainer. It is just like the dreadmill…hours of going nowhere, not fast – just ongoing suffering. I then tried to figure out when I could fit it in? After the half marathon? YEAH RIGHT. I’m dedicated, but I know EXACTLY what would happen – NOTHING.

Then it hit me – these conditions just might be what it will be like at IMMD. Cold, raining, windy. Before I could talk myself out of it, I grabbed my rain jacket and got in the car. Western Maryland Rail Trail is a fast hour and 10min from my door and I was there in no time. I started at the beginning of the trail at Ft. Frederick State Park (exit 12 of of I70). Less than a mile off the exit is a free parking lot (Big Pool Junction). There are restrooms to use so you can relieve yourself privately before you get started.

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The trail is BEAUTIFUL. 22 miles of almost totally uninterrupted (nolights, road crossings – except for the occasional tow path crossing and the parking lot entrances in Hancock), completely flat, paved trail. AWESOME!


At approximately mile 10/11, you come into Hancock where the C&O Bike Shop is located. There are other wonderful restaurants and ice cream shop if you are so inclined. If you drive up to Exit 3, there is another free lot right before the town center. This might be a better option if you plan on doing a double. You are at the mid point of the trail and thus you would never be that far from the Bike Shop and your car if you ran into trouble that you couldn’t fix on your own. I noticed that there were plenty of places along the route if you had to jump off for sustenance or a restroom. Plenty of nature though. The view and sights are along the way is beautiful.

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      Me – on the trail w/C&O Bike Shop in background

The first 15 miles were not bad at all. It was a light drizzle but most times it was just cloudy. At 15, the rain started to pick up so I decided to turn around before it got too bad.

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    Mile 15 – Snack break & decision to turn around


NOPE. The rain steadily pick up and was a pour for my last 10 back to the car. Amazing how you find energy and speed when you want to GET OFF THE BIKE AND OUT OF THE RAIN.


I got 30 of the planned 40 done in the rain and I survived. My goal was to maintain a 16mph pace and I did approx. 15mph (rain, cold, wind). Not bad. I’m going back next weekend and do the whole trail. Who’s coming?


NOTE TO SELF: Also throw in car a change of clothes & towel when you are planning on crazy stuff. Actually, just put a jump bag in the car and leave it there.


Journey to IMMD: It is too early for a Meltdown

At the beginning of this month…on a Sunday long run day…I had the first of probably plenty of meltdowns:


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Here I stand up against a tree at mile 5 of a 10 mile wog ~ which I WALKED ~ trying to get my head back in the game and get back to my car. (I reached out to my FB family of crazy for support)…Y'all send me some good vibes cause right now I wanna call Uber.

Imma eat my snack, stretch, do a gut check and get movin'.


I was no mo good and needed to get my ass in gear. My fellow RipItTeam Members, Friends, Family and #TeamRightBehindMe stepped up to the plate, gave me a virtual kick in the ass and I got to movin’….


I attacked 3.5 miles, which got me back to the lake and then I ran into turtle village…
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I walked back to my car, enjoying the beauty,nature the sun and reminding myself why I am doing all of this. I checked in on my friend, Norm who was in the mist of slogging through IMTX70.3 and I prayed for his run as I know he struggles through injuries too. I made it back to my car and 10 miles were done. Ugly but done.


I wrote this on my FB page when I got home later that day:

I am humbled by the response to the first of probably many meltdowns as I adapt, improvise, overcome and train like a madman towards 140.6.


My friend and consigliere, Brett H Lewis, sent this to me to remind me of my why and that I am RELENTLESS!

I love you all and I hope you will stick with me through the ups and downs of this journey.
#TeamRightBehindMe #IMMD2017

2017-04-02 16.07.04


JOURNEY TO IMMD - My Talismans

I have been remiss in blogging my IM Journey as I said I would and was soundly called out about it. I had to find an app that let me post on the phone and on the fly because by time I finish my daily Training Peaks Suffrage doled out by Coach Suzy, work, shove some semblance of food in my mouth - oh yeah - Feed the fam too, Ian usually in a state of OMG, there are 6 hours till I start again. The balance thing - BRUTAL. So, I have Bball practice duty tonight, found an app and I'm trying it out.--->>>

Last month (March 10th), I was hanging with my sorority sisters and after dinner we stopped in a store called Alex and Ani. They were all into the bracelets and I was just hanging cause I never heard of them. When my partner in crime, Patty,  asked me if one of the bracelets was a fit for her personality I was confused but read the symbols meaning and said yes. 

Then I started looking at all the "talismans" and their meanings and decided to put a set together that represented my journey to IMMD. My coach, Suzy McCulloch Serpico and trainer/mentor Shawn Chevalier always encourage to have that one word/phrase to get you through the tough times. 

This is my word -->

RELENTLESS - to be a fiery, driving force that lets no obstacle or setback get in the way of achieving a noteworthy goal.

I put this set of bracelets together as my reminder of my why...

SWIMMING - Perseverance, Heart, Sportsmanship

BIKE - Wellness, Movement, Spirit

RUN - Endurance, Heart, Sportsmanship

5 (Numerology) - Adventure, Free, Variety

FOUR LEAF CLOVER - Blessing, Fortune, Prosperity

GODSPEED (Cuff) - Journey, Blessing, Protection

I wore them that Sunday (March 11) at RockN Roll DC. It was colder than a witches tit. It was just downright disrespectful cold.

I had a real bad day...of my own making out there. My nutrition was so far off to be considered non-existent...and during those last 3/4 miles when I had no more gas, when I wanted to quit, give up and take a knee...I remembered I was RELENTLESS and I heard the jingle on my wrist...

And I brought it in.


Do Epic Stuff 2017–IMMD

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I haven’t blogged very much lately, but I wanted to make the big announcement and ask that you join me on this EPIC JOURNEY!


I promise to do better and keep you posted as I work on achieving my 2017 goal of completing my first Ironman. I signed up for Ironman Maryland after a lot of thought and reflection. I know I said I was going to hold off on any more long course racing for a while; however, a couple of things changed my mind.


First, I knew that if I put it off, I probably would never do it. Life has a way of getting in the way of best intentions and I ain’t getting any younger.


Second, I have arthritis with bony spurs – pretty bad in the left knee and I started out 2017 back in the Orthopedic Office getting shots in both knees…I could barely walk or go from sitting to standing to walking without significant pain. I knew I was having problems. Longer distances were becoming a serious problem with swelling, discomfort and extended recovery. I was getting slower and slower and the knees were getting worse.


Options? Walk – WALK FAST

So, knowing that I probably won’t be “running” much longer, I decided to GO FOR IT NOW! While the going is good.

What’s the plan?

  • I have an AWESOME coach
  • I started training EARLY, Jan 1 – burn out is a thought but I need to build up, get strong over a longer period of time and arrive to the start HEALTHY.
  • I have a great, balanced race schedule to get me race ready, practice nutrition, transitions and MENTAL TOUGHNESS
  • I am surrounded by the most AWESOME group of athletes, spectathletes and friends that believe in me.

The GOAL is set. The PLAN is written. Time to EXECUTE the plan.


On top of all of that, I was chosen to be a Ripit Events Ambassador. #RipItAmBADASSador


Yes, I have discount codes to the RipIt Events Races.


Join me as I go on this journey to do EPIC SHIT and be a BADASS! See you out there!


Inaugural Disney Paris Half Marathon

Last year this time, The FireMarshall asked what I wanted for my 50th Birthday. Epic Party – Epic Trip. I planned the party – it was EPIC and the trip was for me and a friend to go to Paris for the Inaugural Disney Paris Half Marathon. Not to be outdone, I also had to participate in the first Chateaux to Castle Challenge (which meant I had to do a Disney Half Marathon in the states before Paris – I did the Star Wars Half Marathon).

We had a Grand Epic Time.
Disney Paris, in its entirety, including the two parks, Disney Village (their version of Downtown Disney) and the hotels immediately surrounding the parks could probably all fit inside of Magic Kingdom. Despite the size, the parks were packed and the lines just as long for the rides – of which we rode none. Just walking through the park taking pictures, seeing the characters, pin trading (or, in our case, buying) and people watching was just fine.

The only disappointment was that they ran out of the unique race pins by 10am of the second day the Expo/Packet pickup which meant they either didn’t have enough for each participant or they let people buy several of them before allowing registered racers the opportunity to get. Now they are on sale on Ebay for $650. No sir! Although I know someone will pay that. HUMPH. There were a few glitches that were probably only noticeable to regular runDisney participants – small expo with not enough gear/variety, not enough big screens in corral to see what is happening at start and poor sound system and not enough porta-potties near the corrals. Otherwise, both the 5k and Half Marathon were fun & scenic. Lot of photo ops!
The Inaugural Race Party was nice, but they were not prepared for the number of people that paid for it as evidenced by the long lines and long wait to get food. The Wild West Buffalo Bill Show – I was pleasantly surprised by my amusement. The show was actually pretty good and entertaining. We were on the Green Team and our Cowboy sucked.
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 IMG_0209     IMG_1971
After the Half Marathon on Sunday, we hobbled back to the hotel lodge and enjoyed cocktails in the lobby bar as we planned our transportation into Paris for the rest of our adventure. Grown Women Gone Wild – Paris Edition will have to wait for another post.

Suffice it to say, we came, we ran, ran some more and had the time of our lives.
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Of course, I put a little video together from the two races. Enjoy!


Race Report - Patriots Half 72.3


I’m not fast, I often finish waaaay back of the pack…but I LOVE it. I learn so much about myself on the journey to complete these long course races, but this time the lesson came from The FireMarshall….


Sometimes Finishing is Winning!


My 70.3 last year (Watermans) was cancelled due to the hurricane but I was given a voucher to sign up for another race in 2016 in the Virginia-Maryland Triathlon Series. I signed up for Patriots which turned out to be a 72.3 due to having to go around the county fair in the area.


If I compared myself to my ultra fast fellow triathletes all the time, I’d give up the sport from sheer shame and demoralization. What I compare myself to is MYSELF and strive to get better, faster, more proficient while MAINTAINING MY JOY!


While this race still took WAAAAYYY longer that I wanted and the goal I set for myself, it was a PR for my 70.3’s and I took 2nd place Athena’s. The heat was brutal and 19 people didn’t go out on the run.


Sometimes Finishing is Winning.


Swim – 1:00:52


This was the slowest 1.2 miles I have ever done even though I felt like I was swimming consistent and “fast”. The water was 81 degrees and NOT wetsuit legal. There was supposed to be a current going out, but I didn’t feel it and the tide started going out by time I got to the turn around – the only thing I noticed is that I was having to course correct a lot. I was pretty pissed when I got out the water and saw the clock. There was a very long walk back to transition from the swim, so I had plenty of time to get my attitude straight.

Control what you can control and move on!


Bike – 4:08:06


BEST 70.3 BIKE TIME EVER!!! Knocking 15 min of my last two 70.3’s, maintaining a consistent 15-16mph pace. WINNING!!!


I was feeling pretty good on the bike. I was able to stay hydrated, I used Perpetum in my camelback and had froze two bottles for my cages (Vitamin Water & Water). I took additional water & gatorade at the aid stations. Yet when I got back to transition, I’m standing there and the heat hit my like a ton of bricks. I poured water over me, pulled my cooling towel out of the ice bag I had it in, dawdled, took a nap, blah blah, blah and trudged out of transition. The FireMarshall was right there with his live coverage so when he said, “this is not the time to be walking” I refrained from cussing his ass out since I knew he was taping.


Let the death march begin…


Run – 3:18:19 – all I have to say is that it was 8min and 30 min faster than my last to 70.3 runs. Still BRUTAL.


Yet I got it done. My girl, Lynne, who I raced with finished before me and was AWESOME – she had my 2 beers and pizza ready for me at the finish. LOVE HER!!


I plopped down in the ice pool and melted all the ice in the pool, my body was so hot. Once I was cooled down, those beers were the elixir of life.


I didn’t find out until the next day that I had placed second in Athena and went back to claim my prize…


I know I said I was going to take some time off from 70.3+. I’m going to think about it over the winter. I need to decide where I want to go from here. Whatever it is – FUN & JOY is the name of the game.

Sometimes Finishing is Winning!


Endurance, Mental Toughness & USMA Pride


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Two Races:
Maryland Duathlon Challenge
     - July 16th – Sprint Duathlon
     - July 17th – Olympic Dualthon
27th West Point Sprint Triathlon - Aug14th

The Maryland Duathlon Challenge was a back to back Duathlon with the sprint on Saturday consisting of 2 mile run, 13 mile bike, 2 mile run followed on Sunday by the Olympic du consisting of a 2 mile run, 26 mile bike, 4 mile run. I have done both races before – always a month apart. The bike is scenic but rather hilly. These DU’s are challenging all by themselves without putting them back to back, but since I have done them separately several times, I thought I would give the Challenge a go.

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The Sprint race on Saturday was uneventful and I took it easy. My run times & transitions were pretty much the same as the previous 2x’s I did the sprint and I knocked off 4 min off my bike time.  I didn’t feel beat up, sore or overly tired. I went home to rest up for the next day.

The Olympic race on Sunday was a true test of not just my endurance but more so my mental toughness. The opening run was on pace for ME, but it had me DAL coming into transition. It is one of the most demoralizing things EVER to come into transition and you see you are the ONLY bike left in transition. FML.

I get on the bike and I settle into my game plan…My race, My pace. Catch someone – anyone on the second loop.


That 1st loop was SO DAMN LONELY. Just me and my thoughts. Just me and the road; one hill at a time; keep pedaling. As I approach the start of the second loop, passing people already on the run…KILL ME NOW!…I shut my mind down to all my surroundings; dig for my “one word” when you are about to go dark – mine is RELENTLESS – I go aero and decided – believed – that everybody could NOT be that far in front of me. I WILL catch and pass SOMEBODY! I will be relentless in that pursuit. I dug in. Approaching the double up steep hill at mile 3…I saw my opportunity. There were 3 riders. Relentless! Passing left not once, but three times.


I was alone again. Where is the pack? Pedal. Push. Climb. Climb again. There is another rider…take em. That’s four. Still no back of the pack, but I’m not last anymore.


I approach the end of the bike, I roll into transition and I forgot that I had passed four other riders – didn’t matter- it looked like I was the last bike into transition. DESPAIR. It had to be all over my face. Yet, before the first tear could fall – there was my coach – Coach Suzy. She nipped that mess in the bud with a quick fierceness that snapped me out of the black hole I was about to sink into. “STOP IT, LISA! You are doing great! Now Finish It. RUN!”


So I put a smile on my face and RAN! Well, it was more like a fast wog, but this girl was runnin’. 4 mile. Get it done.

And I did!


I put my two best race time on this course together and compared it to the back to back race total time. I couldn’t think of any other way to make a reasonable comparison. There was a 16 min difference (16 min longer) between my best two races separately and the Challenge. That seems like a long time. Maybe. Compared to whom? Compared to what? For me, I achieved my goals. Finish. Finish standing. Finish strong. Believe you can. Endure. Don’t go dark.


I did every single one of those. WINNING!

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Next up was the 27th Annual West Point Triathlon. My goals for this race was to move up the podium and to ensure that the other West Point Women I suckered convinced to do the race with me (either individually or as a relay) had a great experience for their first race.

I achieved both goals – placing 2nd in the Athena Class and watching my friend and fellow WPW89’ CRUSH it at her 1st competition, placing 1st in the Athena Category. JUST WOW! So proud of her.
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The WPW89’ Relay Team was out there crushing it as well. And my girl, Kay(runner relay) got her kids to register and they were out there getting it done as well. Best line ever – “I have two spares in case something goes south.” I cried.

As for me and that 2nd podium finish…I attribute knocking 9 min off of last years race time to an awesome swim and knocking 1 – 1/2 min of each transition time. TRANSITION. TRANSITION. TRANSITION. Get in and get out!
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                  2015                       2016
Swim         28:03                      21:46
T1               3:23                        2:26
Bike        1:01:39                   1:02:59
T2                4:42                       2:11
Run             47:16                     47:33

Total        2:25:01                  2:16:53