2014 In Review

2014_in_review_image1_1_1Well, here we are, another year is in the books – and my what a year it has been!

Sometimes, we all get so wrapped up in our day-to-day grind that it’s hard to see the forest for the trees, and it’s only when we hover above all the minutia and really take a “bird’s eye view” that we can see how far we’ve come!

2014 was an #epicwin year for me!!  I accomplished so much!

Personally, I celebrated both my 1 year and year and a half anniversaries of wine-sobriety.  That’s right, sports fans, I have not had a drop of vino since May 5, 2013.  And that’s a HUGE deal for a chick who, in my hey day, used to pound down at least 4 bottles of wine per week!

Deb and I celebrated our 4th year together, which makes me a really lucky gal, four times over!

Josh headed off to middle school and is doing terrific.  What a great kid he is!!  He was diagnosed with ADHD and gluten/dairy intolerances this year and has just taken it all in stride.  Amazing!  Erin headed off to the University of Maryland (College Park) on January 3rd and is a Junior majoring in English and doing incredible.  Nicki is a sophomore at Stetson University double majoring in Religious Studies and Psychology and is also excelling.  We have 3 really smart kids!!! 🙂

Business-wise, 2014 was a breakthrough year for us!  The speaking calendar was full, including a huge national convention in Dallas in August, and several regional trainings for the same company.  We launched several new products, and organized a 5K race to raise money for domestic and family violence awareness.  It was so successful and garnered so much positive attention, that we incorporated our non-profit entity, Building Remarkable Communities, Inc., and are organizing an entire racing series in 2015 consisting of 5K, 10K, and 15K running events spaced 3 months apart so people can progressively and safely train to the next distance.

old_meAthletically, it was an awesome year!  I came into the year a newbie runner – previously having run no more than a really, slow, sloppy 10K .  In February, I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  Then I took some time off from racing pursuits to train for my karate black belt test in July (which I somehow passed).  In August, I picked Swim-Bike-Run back up in a major way to prepare for my first solo Olympic Distance Race at Battle of the Bridges.  Then in October, shifted into pure running mode, as I prepared to take on my longest distance run ever – a full marathon – at the Space Coast Marathon. Along the way, I ran a couple of half marathons and some 5Ks (including a PR 5K at the Operation Changing Lives 5K ).   And to put the proverbial cherry on top of 2014, in October, I was named to the 2015 Swim-Bike-Mom Ambassador Team, which means I, along with 27 other amazing women, get to spread the word that triathlon is for every woman – no matter their size, shape, age – triathlon is a big tent and there is room for everyone!

2014 in Review: 
Swam: 17.98 miles
Biked: 1,156.72 miles
Ran: 573.11 miles
Longest Swim: 3200 yds
Longest Bike: 112.01 miles
Longest Run: 26.2 miles

Looking to 2015, I can only say BRING IT ON!!!  Officially, I will be virtually running the 3 races in our race series; I am running a half-marathon relay at the Melbourne Music Marathon Weekend on 2/1 with my friend and swim buddy, Megan White; Gulf Coast 70.3 triathlon on 5/9; and Beach2Battleship 70.3 triathlon on 10/17.  There will likely be some additional sprint and oly triathlons, as well as some half marathons and other 5K/10K events TBD.

My goal in 2015 is to run 100 miles each month – not sure how that’s supposed to happen, but I am assured that it can be done.

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Re-focusing on the Basics

focusWOW!  Deb and I just returned from a quick 5 day vacation.  I call it our “unplugged vacation” because we took our cellphones, but didn’t turn them off and kept them in the hotel safe, there were no tablets, computers, internet, social media, texting, or any electronic media at all.

I’ll be honest, I was really nervous that I would spend so much time obsessing over what I was “missing” in cyberspace that I would miss out on vacation!  But happily, that’s not what happened.  I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to unplug.

So in the absence of electronics there was a lot of real, live, interactive, interpersonal communication that went on.  Yes, we talked, and planned, and strategized, and walked, and swam, and had a tremendous time just being engaged with each other!

We ate and drank what we wanted.  I actually had one mixed drink each day – it was awesome.  I did not, however, drink any wine.  I believe wine is a trigger for me and one glass leads to a bottle.  I don’t have that problem with mixed drinks – one is just fine!

The first day I really just blew it out foodwise.  I enjoyed what I ate, but it was nowhere near gluten-free or dairy-free.  At the end of the night I felt awful!  I had stomach cramps and was so bloated.  Even though I enjoyed the food in the moment, it wasn’t worth how terrible I felt afterward.  So, the rest of our trip I stayed almost entirely GFCF and I enjoyed myself so much more!

One of the things Deb and I talked about was the fact that we have a couple of pretty major things going on this summer.  My blackbelt test is on July 26th and that will be a really huge physical and mental test for me and I will need to be at my very best.  At the end of August Deb is doing a training for several thousand people at a national convention and she is determined to be at her physical best.  After my blackbelt test I also have my sights set on running a marathon in December or January and as I start training I’d like to be ahead of the game and not starting from ground zero.

So, as of yesterday we recommitted to focusing on the basics:  Clean, gluten-free, dairy-free eating, no alcohol at all, 1 cup of coffee on Saturday and Sunday only, 6 workouts per week (for me that means weighlifting on Monday and Friday, cycling on the trainer on Tuesday, the blackbelt physical on Wednesday, running on Thursday, and then a long run or a long bike on Saturdays (alternating activities each week)), 2 karate workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays – one AM and one PM – and modified free days – we will have a treat in the morning, but the rest of the day won’t be much different than any other day (except that there may be a bit more of it in order to spike calories).1-pushup-challenge

Today is Day 2 and I feel great.

OH, by the way, today is Day 20 of the 100 Pushup/100 Situp daily challenge.  I haven’t missed a single day.  I started the month pushing out sets of 10 of each, now I’m easily pushing out sets of 25 and I even did 2 sets of 50 while on vacation.  So I know I’ve gotten stronger.  I’m looking forward to seeing how all these pushups translate into by quest for 10 pullups!!

T-minus 67 days until my Karate Blackbelt Test – OMG!!!

It’s My Tri-versary!

tri-versaryAhhhhh!  I am happily back home in Florida today!  I’m not exactly sure what cruel joke the weather Gods are trying to pull up in Virginia, but when I left yesterday morning, the thermometer in my car said it was 23 degrees!!!  23 Degrees – Fahrenheit – in mid-April!!!  That’s just nuts!!

Today is my one year TRI-VERSARY!!

Yes, I know that’s not a word.

It was one year ago today that I decided to register for and train for my first triathlon.

It’s amazing when I think back at how far I have come in this past year.

I was 20-ish pounds heavier.  My bike was in good shape, but I couldn’t swim 100m and I couldn’t run a mile!

Endless_Summer_Triathlon 2013-07-13 028Since then I have competed in a Sprint-Distance Triathlon, an Olympic-Distance Triathlon, 3 5Ks, and a half marathon.

I have committed to running a marathon in the Fall, a Half-Iron Distance Triathlon next April, and a Full Iron Distance Triathlon in November, 2015!

These are things I could not have even fathomed even considering a year ago.

And today, I know it will be a long, hard road, but I have NO DOUBT in my mind whatsoever that I can accomplish each one of those considerable goals – just putting one foot in front of the other.

Keep moving forward!

So, Happy Tri-versary to me!!

patchAnd, to bring you up to date on news from karate land, I had my “Come to Jesus” talk with my head instructors at karate on Tuesday night.

It was not as bad as it could have been.


  • They were very complimentary of my knowledge of “the book” – I know the belt material for every belt thusfar better than most people.  YAY!
  • Grappling is good.  YAY!
  • They were pleased with my physical conditioning.  Thank Goodness for triathlon training!!
  • They were happy with my foot work (this has been an issue in the past, so I’m glad all those miles of C-steps I’ve been doing for the past year or so paid off).


  • I am not a commanding instructor.  I have self-confidence issues.  I have difficulty correcting my peers.  Uh, yeah… I know…
  • nervousMy hand positions are too “feminine.”  Okay, fair enough.
  • My self-defense is stiff and somewhat robotic. This is a big one.  I will be working on this like crazy between now and July 26th

So, all-in-all not so bad.  I have my marching orders and I can make it better.  So I will!

T-minus 100 days and counting!!






Enter the Dragon (Or Not)

mpkks_dragon_by_rakuraiwolf-d6z6q7pFor the past week and a half I have had the wonderful opportunity to travel back to Virginia for the sole purpose of immersing myself in Kempo Karate with my friends at Mike Petersen’s Kempo Karate School.

If all goes well, I will test for my student black belt on July 26th – just a little over 3 months away.  Karate belt testing is no joke – it’s very physically and mentally demanding and lasts for HOURS.  All I know about the black belt test is that it makes normal belt testing look like a walk around the block.

It’s very intimidating.

Most people who start training in karate do not make it through to black belt.  I made the decision when I started that I would see it through as far as I possibly could.

There have been many obstacles along the way – the largest of which was our relocation to Florida.  Of course Deb is a 3rd degree black belt in Kempo and she trains me with the blessings and guidance of our head of school.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this arrangement.  The advantages are fairly obvious – I get one-on-one instruction and feedback and focus on my material and requirements.  The disadvantages may be less obvious, but they have proven to be considerable.

I train with only one person – one body type, one style of attack and defense (even when she tries to mix it up), and I know Deb so well that I can pretty much anticipate what she will do before she does it.

GIFSec.comThis has been a problem in previous tests – a partner of different size, style, timing, etc., and it rocks my world.  The “parts” aren’t where I am used to them being – targeting suffers, timing is off.  I know the move well enough, but it comes across sloppy.

It is also very difficult to gain instruction opportunities.  Deb does a fine job of mimicking a new student, or a student who has just been promoted and has yet to see their new belt material, or the student who is a week away from their next belt test, or the student who just can’t quite make their body do what their mind wants it to, or the kid with ADHD, but it’s only one at a time – NOTHING can prepare you for instructing a class containing all of the above – other than just DOING it!

So, this trip has allowed for some great training opportunities, some awesome instructional opportunities, and yes, an opportunity for my instructors to evaluate me and see if our system in Florida is working.

Tonight – my last night of classes for this trip – I will receive feedback on where I am, my strengths and weaknesses, and what I need to focus on during the upcoming 3 months.  I am very intimidated by the conversation that is coming tonight.

And at the same time, I can’t wait!!

I know I am ahead of the game in some areas and WAY behind in others.  It will just be nice to see if my perception is correct or if I’m just way off.

Stay tuned…