About Me

I've never been good at writing about myself.. . . but here goes. Warning: I'm a bit long-winded!

I guess, in a nutshell, I'm an Optimist with a Type A+ Personality who loves being active and living a healthy lifestyle. My definitions of "Active" and "Healthy" have evolved significantly over the years, but currently my active & healthy lifestyle involves racing bicycles and following Paleolithic eating principles (I will NOT call it a "Diet"!). 

I can be a control freak a lot of the time, but as I age, I'm learning to roll with the punches a bit. I like to see the best in people and picture the best outcome of every situation. It's just how I view the world, and I like it that way. To some, this makes me appear naive, but that's okay with me - I'd prefer to take on the world full-speed ahead, picturing the best possible outcome of every endeavor rather than avoid situations or activities due to the myriad of possible negative consequences. I can't imagine how much of life I would have missed out on if I avoided even 1/2 of the crazy endeavors I've undertaken due to fear of the unknown, fear of failure, or potential disaster on the horizon. 

"Playing" with the boys at the Thursday Night Driveway Series Bike Races here in Austin, TX. . .
Full-speed ahead! What could go wrong?

I hate confrontation and am skilled at mediation out of necessity. I have a hard time standing up for myself and my viewpoints at times due to the hatred of confrontation. . but I'm working on getting better at this!

I'm happily married (13 years now!) to my best friend,  man of my dreams, & love of my life. I'm convinced that I managed to score the World's Best Husband. . .he's loving, patient, kind, and supportive of my hopes and dreams regardless of how unrealistic or crazy they may seem at inception. I don't know how he puts up w/ me some days, but am so thankful that he does. I love experiencing every day with him, and the thought of a long life together makes me tingle with excitement. 

Me with the Man of my dreams on vacation :-)
I also have two "furry kids" - rescue dogs - both mutts. If you follow my blog for any length of time, you'll no doubt see many pictures of their crazy and sweet antics :-)

Buster  & Jake - my two spoiled rotten furry kids
I'm an Accountant by day & Crazy Bike Racing Chic in my "free time". 

I've always been athletic, competitive, and an adrenaline junkie, but have bounced from sport to sport, never really having found one that I wanted to specialize in. In high school, I played volleyball, basketball, and pitched fast-pitch softball. In college I was an amateur bodybuilder and figure competitor. In my late 20’s & early 30’s I got hooked on CrossFit and Olympic Lifting, and somewhere in the middle I tried my hand at Japanese Jujitsu.

Figure Competition ("Back in the day!")
CrossFit Competition (2010?)

In April, 2012, good friend of mine from CrossFit called me up and half-jokingly asked if I wanted to participate in the Republic of TX Sprint Triathlon with her the upcoming weekend, which happened to fall on my birthday. The adrenaline junkie/competitor in me said “Sure, why not?!?” (I mean what could possibly go wrong. . . other than the fact that I am NOT a runner, hadn't ridden a bike since I was 12 or so, and hadn't swam any kind of distance since my elementary school swim team meets!) Fortunately for me, the swim ended up being cancelled due to unsafe conditions, so we ended up just doing the bike/run. I rode the bike leg in my running sneakers on a borrowed straight bar road bike, and fell in love that day with cycling. The following week, I visited my local bike shop (Shameless plug for Bay Area Bike & Tri in Corpus Christi, TX!!), bought a road bike . . . Happy Birthday to ME!

And so my love affair with cycling began. . . 
My very first road bike! Trek Lexa (w/ flat pedals and cages to start. . )
To make a very long story short, I started training and working with a coach around June of 2012, and haven't looked back since. I participated in my first Road Race (The TX State Road Championship Weekend in Copperas Cove, TX) in Late September 2012, and finished somewhere mid-pack but was FULLY addicted at that point. 

Crossing the finish line in my very first Road Race (in my puppy dog jersey) . .
Several minutes AFTER the lead group!
I trained hard all winter, but injured my knee around Thanksgiving, and missed many of the base miles that I should have been putting on my legs before leading up to my 1st race season. As a result, my coach had to adjust my training a bit, and "race me into shape" at the start of the 2013 season. . . boy was that an interesting (and exhilarating) experience!

I spent most of the 2013 Racing Season training as many hours as I could possibly squeeze in, participating in fast-pace group rides with the Corpus Christi Cycling Club in CC and Gruppo VOP in Austin & Racing in every race that I could get to. I started driving up to Austin on a weekly basis to race at the Driveway Series every Thursday night, and train on the hills Fri & Sat before driving back home to Corpus Christi on Saturday afternoons. My 2013 Racing Season was definitely a year of learning and development. Most of my finishes were mid-pack but I learned something new about my fitness level, race strategy, or tactics every single race. I tried not to get discouraged that I wasn't winning races, and just kept training my tail off. I was (and still am) DETERMINED to give this everything I've got and see just how far I can take it!

In June of 2013, I crossed wheels with the girl in front of me at a weekly Driveway Series Crit Race, and went over my handlebars at 30 mph, resulting in a broken Collarbone, which required a plate & screws to repair. This put me out of commission for a few weeks while I waited for the surgery, but I was back on the stationary trainer within a week post-op with a new fire in my belly and desire to come back stronger than ever. I made my goal return date August 31st - the Epic Tour of Austin Crit Series, held in part at the Circuit of the America's this year. I was just rehabbed enough to participate, and while I performed horribly, I was just happy to be back out there racing again! 

The evening after "The Incident" - at the ER
Yeah. . this didn't feel very good!

I finished out my 2013 race season at the 2013 TX State Road Championship Race Weekend . . . marking my official 1 year anniversary in Bike Racing! I finally "peaked" and all of that training began to show itself, as I barely squeaked out a 2nd place Finish by centimeters! What a great way to finish out the year!

Crossing the Finish Line!
Podium Finishers - All Smiles!

I've been trained my rear off all winter (Oct 2013 - Jan 2014) with plenty of BORING Base Miles. . . giving my body plenty of time to rest, recover, and re-build. I'm not going to lie - base at this point was not fun - but I was thankful to have an injury-free Off-Season and to be going into my 2nd Racing Season (2014) feeling strong, with more endurance than I had my first year.

All of those base miles, and self control/discipline paid off, and 2014 started off with a bang, with a 2nd place finish in my first race of the year (Tour of New Braunfels Crit, W4), and my very first Road Race Win at the Tour of New Braunfels Road Race (W4) the next day. 

Just 2 weeks later though, disaster struck. I was caught up in a really nasty wreck in the final stage of the Iris Stagner Memorial Stage Race. I don't remember much from that day, but was informed that evening that I'd been life flighted to the nearest hospital, had a concussion, and a severely broken Collarbone that had actually come out my back, requiring emergency surgery to repair. I was now the bionic women, with titanium plates and screws in both collarbones. . . and a LONG road to recovery ahead. I missed the most of the rest of the 2014 race season, only healing in time to race a few local Thursday Night crits in October.

Fast Forward to the present (November, 2015) - I dealt with my share of frustrations and struggled with impatience as I recovered from the Iris Stagner accident, but I just couldn't give up on myself. I FINALLY found a sport that I was actually not half bad at from the start, and I knew that with enough hard work, discipline, and training, I might actually have the opportunity to be almost "good" at it one day! But like anything else in life - nothing worth having ever comes easy, and I knew that it would be a long road. . . that's the thing though - Aren't successes that much sweeter when you've had to bust your butt in order to achieve them? I mean, if I was just "a natural" from day 1, and everything came easily to me, I don't think that I would appreciate nearly as much how far I've come or what my body is capable of doing on a bicycle. And I have SO much further to go - I could train my heart out for 100 years, and still not master the many disciplines of cycling ;-)

The cards fell in my favor, and I was very fortunate to be picked up by one of Austin's Elite Women's Cycling Teams - ATC Racing - for the 2015 race season. Back story - I had tried out in 2014, but they only took on 1 new girl, and they picked my good friend Katie over me that year - and she very much deserved it! Failing to make the team in 2014 lit a fire under my ass though, and made me train that much harder after recovering from my injuries, in order to give it another go in 2015 :-) During the 2015 Race Season, I learned so much from this team of amazing ladies. Racing on a women's team is just so very different from being a "Lone Wolf". I learned more in the last year with ATC about team tactics, patience on the bike, and smart racing strategy then I did in the previous 2 years, and I know that helped to contribute to my success late in the 2015 race season! 

I can't wait to see what the 2016 race season will bring. . .  I have put several NRC/NCC Races on my calendar for the upcoming year, and also plan to race Master's Nationals in Winston-Salem, NC. This will open a up a whole new level of competition, learning curves, and humble pie - but that will just push me to be that much more dedicated in my training and nutrition - I can't wait! I figured what better time than now to kick-start my renewed dedication to healthy living through proper fueling with a Whole30. . so off I go (November 10th - December 9th)!

One final note, regarding my "Diet". I follow a pretty strict Paleo "Diet" most of the time (although I hate the "D" Word). I've done several Whole30s, my most recent one in January 2014, and can not say enough great things about this amazing program and the people that created and run it (Dallas & Melissa Hartwig of Whole9 Life). I've struggled with severe sugar addictions and cravings my entire life, and the depletion dieting of Figure Competitions in my early 20's left me with a rather unhealthy relationship with food. Since finding this way of eating, I have never been happier or felt more energetic, full of life, happy in my own skin, and best of all - for the most part - I'm pretty much sugar craving free! I know that a lot of my fellow cyclists swear by energy gels & power bars for fuel, and I have to say "to each his own", but I've found something that works so perfectly for me and makes me feel so amazing - I'm just not willing to compromise my health experimenting with supplements any more. 

That being said, I am NOT a food robot. I still have a soft spot for really good Ice Cream (My nickname literally used to be "DQ"...), Gourdough's Doughnuts, & Torchy's Tacos . . . so on occasion after a particularly monumental accomplishment or just "because", I'll splurge a bit. I know that when I choose to splurge, it will result in a tummy-ache, possibly accompanied by a headache, swollen ankles, and a few zits. . . but you know what? I'm okay with that (on occasion. . . and only when I deem it TOTALLY worth it!) I just know from experience that, especially when it comes to sugar, I have to be extra careful not to let a little splurge turn into a week (or month) long binge-fest.

Laura & I celebrating our 2nd/3rd place finishes 
(2013 TX State RR Championship)
 w some Amy's Ice Cram (Yummmmmmm
I want to be clear that I do not follow Paleolithic Eating Principles for aesthetic reasons - I eat this way because I feel that I'm at the top of my game mentally, physically (health-wise), and competitively when I eat this way. That being said, I can't complain about the aesthetic results that have come hand-in-hand with improved performance and health! 

Transformation over 1st 8 months of "Paleo" Eating