Another Auld Lang Syne

If you didn’t know, the song “Auld Lang Syne”, traditionally played at midnight on New Year’s Eve, loosely translates to, “For old time’s sake“…


As we bid farewell on 2017, I wanted to do a quick recap and update on life since I last posted. Mostly told through photos :).

2D22ACCA-114E-414C-BDE9-12ECBB71F710Sandie and I tracked and cheered on our friends Jeremy, Cristina, and Laura from Brownsville as they competed in Ironman Arizona over Thanksgiving break.


A9675428-4745-43B5-BAF1-3808090122EFThanksgiving dinner was at my parents’ house this year. Here is a photo with one of my favorite people in the world, my Grandma Jan.


AB687B9E-8A2B-4759-B1C0-031A7EC9E374Orangetheory Brownsville opened it’s doors, and you KNOW my friends and I were down for any themed workout. We also fill in the 5:00am class spots!



3B20A498-F1BD-46EC-AFBE-BCD8E0C1F301I was in full-swing concert mode the last couple weeks of school. Three nightly performances and a day of Christmas caroling around town! Honey, I was READY for break!




The OTF Member’s Christmas party entailed all of the coaches attempting a challenge which included a 2000 meter row, 2 mile run, and 100 burpees! Poor Mike was working his butt off while my friends and I enjoyed our wine. But he did it!



Christmas morning we enjoyed our cold front with some coffees on our back porch. Then we headed to my parent’s house for lunch and opening our stockings.



Even though we’re on break, we’ve still been getting our workouts in. But it’s so nice to be able to stop for a coffee and visit afterwards. Here we are at a very cute local coffeeshop called Juice Us.

Because Orangetheory Brownsville is just getting on it’s feet, Mike and I can’t make any major definite plans for 2018. We DID sign back on with Big Sexy Racing for 2018 (how could we not?!), and are trying to make a Colorado trip happen in late February, so we’ll see.

Happy New Year friends! Here’s to 2018!



San Diego Trip


Another new month! This is going to be an exciting one as our Orangetheory Fitness Brownsville will be opening! I’m so excited for this new chapter. I’m ready to become fitter, faster, and stronger!

otf studio

I can’t believe it’s been 3 weeks since we went to the Orangetheory Convention in San Diego, but I wanted to be sure to do a trip recap so I could look back on my memories later on.

otf with mike

This trip could not have come at a better time; this school year’s calendar gives us no breaks until Thanksgiving and I was getting antsy to get away for a little while. We flew out on Wednesday evening and arrived in San Diego around 6:45. Our taxi took us to our hotel, which was only about 3 miles from the airport, and Mike, Eddie, and Jaime got checked in for the convention. I was also able to check in and got my name tag and some nice swag bags too. There was a “glow workout” scheduled for that time, and those 3 got ready and went to the workout. I just hung out in the room and relaxed until they were done. We met up at the hotel bar and had some drinks and dinner and then hit the hay.

The next day we woke up still on Texas time, and I was dressed and ready to head out for a run by 7:30am. I had packed my running shoes, belt, and Garmin  because I knew the weather would be gorgeous for running, and I had my half marathon coming up in a couple of days. I’m so glad I took the time to run and explore because I got familiar with the area, and took note of places I’d like to go visit.

san diego harbor

As I expected, my run felt amazing, and before I knew it, I was 4 miles out! I turned around and headed back to the hotel to finish a satisfying 8 mile run.


I headed back inside and Mike & his crew were already at their sessions. I showered, got ready, and figured out what I would do with my day ahead.

As I had been running, I noticed flags going up around the San Diego Harbor for an Extreme Sailing event. I thought that would be cool to experience, and I knew the location wasn’t too far, so I got an Uber and headed that way. When I arrived several tents had been set up as well and bleachers facing the water, but there weren’t too many people around. I asked someone when it would begin and was told this was a “soft opening” day and that the actual races would take place the next two days. I got myself a delicious chicken gyro wrap from a food truck and a craft beer and looked over the schedule of events.

sailing lunch

I noticed that a kite surfing display was going to begin soon, so I found a nice patch of grass and settled in to watch.

cruiser ship

As more and more surfers got out on the water, it was such an amazing sight to see. They looked so calm and relaxed and made kite surfing look easy (and I’m sure it absolutely isn’t)! Bucket list to try out for me.

kite surfers

I decided to start heading back to the hotel and figured instead of getting an Uber, I’d rent a bike. Great idea, because I had a blast cruising back and stopped to take several pictures.


Near the giant Midway ship was the amazing “Kissing Statue”. I had always liked that famous photo and to see this giant statue was insane!

kissing statue

Got back to the hotel and touched base with Mike. He had one more session left to attend, so I hung out in the room and started getting ready for our party that evening.

It turned out that our party was actually held on the Midway Museum ship. That thing is HUGE! Also, I got to experience just how many people were here for the convention, over 2000!

midway museum

To close the party off was an orange fireworks show.

otf fireworks

Rode a pedi-cab back to the hotel and passed out for the night.

I slept in a bit the next morning and decided to book an Orangetheory class at a studio nearby. My instructor was very welcoming as well as motivating. The class was fun and kicked my butt!

I had to make a decision on what I would spend my last day in San Diego doing. When I had researched previously, visiting the La Jolla sea lions looked like something I’d enjoy. I called an Uber and had him take me about 15 miles out to La Jolla Beach.

When he dropped me off, really didn’t know where to go. I took a little walk up and down the beach boardwalk and it was a little chilly and drizzling.

la jolla beach

I realized this was not where the sea lions were and did some Google map research to find that they were at the La Jolla Cove, which was a 2 mile walk from where I was. I decided 2 miles isn’t too far, and started my walk.

I didn’t realize this walk was uphill a lot of the time, and that I’d be walking along a busy highway for about a mile! Oh well, adventures….FINALLY I made it to the cove. I knew I had arrived by the smell….haha.

la jolla cove

But boy was it beautiful. I was blown away.

la jolla birds

la jolla cliff

I climbed out onto the bluff to take some pictures but still hadn’t spotted the sea lions. Then I heard them! So excited, I found my cutie pies! They are hilarious to watch. They reminded me of my wiener dog Billy!

san diego seal

with sea lions

I was so glad I had made the trip to La Jolla, that town was beautiful. The homes around the area were absolutely incredible. I got lucky with my Uber driver back, and older gentleman who took me around for a little guided tour.

la jolla homes

Got back to the hotel and hung out with Mike for awhile. He asked if I wanted to go and see the last big Orangetheory event, the “Dry Tri”. What a sight to see! Hundreds of extremely fit people doing an impossibly insane workout: row 2000 meters, 50 burpees, about 300 reps of body weight exercises, and then sprint a 5k on the treadmills. Good Lord.

dry tri
Enter a caption

That evening was the Awards Banquet. We got all dolled up and headed to the ballroom. This party was so over-the-top. Delicious food, great live music, and an MC that sounded exactly like Justin Timberlake, I swear.

otf awards dinner

otf group

A wonderful end to an amazing trip. I love San Diego and can’t wait to go back!

When we arrived home on Saturday, we picked up our race packets and proceeded to run the Brownsville Historic Half Marathon. Let me tell you….humidity at it’s finest! But we had an awesome crew representing OTF thanks to Ownway Apparel!

otf run group



October Updates


Hello October!

We’re almost 2 weeks into the month and today is the first day it actually feels like fall. That is, of course, because we have a front blowing through, but I am taking full advantage of this sweater weather, baby.


So, a few life updates…Mike and I had NOLA 70.3 on the calendar since January, however, schedule conflicts will not allow us to participate this year. Bummer, except that we are fortunate enough to be able to defer it for next year. So I’ll be looking forward to conquering that course in 2018!

October 22 I’ll be running the Brownsville Historic Half Marathon. I’ve been running twice a week, with one short run (3-5miles), and one long run (10 miles) for the past 6 weeks. I know that running only twice a week doesn’t sound like much, but for my body, it’s all I can take. The heat and humidity has just been a killer to my body. Even running at 4:30am, sometimes it’s 80+ degrees!

morning run

Most all of my friends are signed up for this race because Orangetheory Fitness Brownsville is the main sponsor. In fact, Ownway Apparel designed running shirts for our OTF Brownsville team to wear in the half. We tried them out at a local 5k a few weeks ago, and we sure looked sharp!

otf run shirts

Speaking of Orangetheory Fitness Brownsville, the countdown is on until we open the doors! My husband and his partners and team have been so dedicated and hardworking to get it all rolling. They’ve already surpassed a few records, including membership pre-sales. They’ve visited school campuses, local health events, hospitals, doctors’ offices, you name it! I have 100% faith it will be a raging success!


Mike and I head to San Diego next week for a couple of days. He’ll be there for business, I’m tagging along for fun. I’ve never been there and can’t wait to explore. If you’ve ever been to San Diego PLEASE send me your recommendations of places to visit and things to do. I want to soak as much of it in as I can in the 2 days I’m there!

Can’t wait to watch Kona this Saturday! Go Big Sexy go!



Triwithjoy Kit


Now I can reveal my exciting surprise…my custom tri kit designs have become a reality.  So, I have always been attracted to bright colors and when I first entered the “triathlon world” I ordered Smashfest Queen and Betty Designs kits. I LOVED the colors, patterns, and overall look of these brands’ tri kits.

Being “artsy” myself, I started sketching out a design for my own custom kit, inspired by these two brands.


What I came up with was something that incorporated my favorite colors, palm trees (because I’m a beach girl), angel wings (inspired by my spirituality), and my blog name.


I collaborated with Chris McDonald (“Big Sexy” pro triathlete) and his company Ownway Apparel, and he helped my vision become a reality.










My design can be ordered as a tri kit, cycle jersey, shorts, bibs, and running singlet and top. Head to this link to check it out!


A big thank you to Ownway Apparel!



TriGirl Sprint 2017 Race Report


TriGirl Sprint was a blast. This was the third year for me to compete in this race, and I really recommend it because it is very well put-on and safe for beginners. It takes place in Victor Park in Harlingen, TX, and it is a 300 meter swim, 10 mile bike (5 miles out and 5 back), and a 5k run.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Woke up at 4:45am and got my water bottles together and bikes loaded up. I picked up my mom and we headed to Harlingen. Transition didn’t open until 6:00am, and we got there at about 5:30, so we had a little time to wait. I’d always rather be early and take my time setting up my area and not have to stress out.

Soon the other racers including most of my girlfriends began to arrive. We made our way into transition and set up. My mom and my numbers were right next to each other so we got to set up our bikes together. I was so proud of her, she seemed calm even though I know she was a bit nervous.

Headed into the pool and I jumped in for a short warm-up, just a 100 meter lap. Water still felt cool because the sun hadn’t come up, but I knew things would get warm quickly once it did rise.



Race time! We lined up around the edge of the pool and seeded ourselves by 100m swim times, and then it was go time.


The swim was short and quick. Not too eventful, but I kept a comfortable pace that kept my heart rate down. Towards the end I got into a little bunch with a few other swimmers, but it was no big deal. Hopped out of the water and headed into transition.







For some reason, I was a little bit flustered in transition, and when I mounted my bike and clipped in, I noticed I hadn’t even strapped my right bike shoe on! I was already clipped in and pedaling, so I thought, “Oh well, I’ll just ride like this!


Yelling out to Mike, “My shoe isn’t strapped in!”


The bike ride was pleasant. I was happy to not get any red lights and no loose dogs chased me. I found my way right behind Cristina, and soon we were passing the other racers until we saw the lead girl ahead of us. We made our turn-around, and soon after, passed her up.

We were the two lead females off the bike!


The run was just as I had expected: hot AF. Luckily, it’s only 3 miles so I wasn’t having to bear the heat for too long. Felt pretty good on my feet; I’m really liking these Newtons I’m running in. Although the run was super hot and humid, it was fun to get encouragement from the volunteers and hear them say to me, “You’re the first racer!”


Finally made my way towards the finish line and booked it through. Very second time in my life to be the first one through the finish, it’s a great feeling! It was a time-trial swim start, so I knew that crossing the finish line first didn’t mean I’d completed the race first, but I was hoping for a podium finish in my age group.




Got to see all of my other friends and my mom come through the finish line and I was so proud of them! What a blessing that we get to do this, and that our bodies are able. Praise God!



When it came time for awards, I discovered I got first in my age group! Along with my other two friends Carolina and Priscilla on the podium with me; that was awesome :).


What a great day; I’ll definitely be doing this one next year.

This is my last week of summer; sadness. This weekend Mike and I are making a quick trip up to Austin to take a couple Orangetheory classes and stay with our friends Kim, Kane, and their two girls. Then Monday, it’s back to work to begin my 9th year of teaching!

P.S. I have a very exciting surprise coming up having to do with my “tri life” and I can’t wait to share!



Boca Raton, FL Trip


Just got back from sunny, hot, and humid Florida (not any different from home). But it was a beautiful place. I have only been to Florida once, about 14 years ago when I was in high school for a choir trip to Disney. So this time around, I was excited to be able to explore.

The whole reason I was in Florida was because Mike and his business partners were there for franchise training to open up their own Orangetheory Fitness Gym. Very exciting new adventures ahead! Boca Raton is where the headquarters are located.

I arrived on Wednesday afternoon, and after a very long carpool shuttle from the airport, I arrived at our hotel. I settled in and soon was picked up by Mike, Eddie, and Jaime to have dinner. We went to a nearby Cheesecake Factory (and I love Cheesecake Factory) and had a nice dinner. Back to hotel to relax and get to bed.

Thursday morning they had to get up early for meetings, so I was on my own until 5:30pm. I had reserved a spot at an Orangetheory class and took an Uber over. My instructor was very good and friendly, and my workout was tough but fun. The hour flew by!

What I like a lot about Orangetheory is you can see your heart rate in real time. You wear a monitor and your name is up on a screen so you can keep track of what “zone” you are in. I definitely push myself more because of it.

When the class is through, you are automatically emailed your fitness report so you can see your results.


I was recommended to check out Red Reef Park and Beach, so I took an Uber there next. It had rained that morning, but luckily the sun came out for my trip to the beach. The water was pretty choppy, but warm and beautiful. Also, there was a sea turtle reservoir right near me, and several little sea turtle nests were roped off all over the beach.


I sat and watched the waves and enjoyed the beauty of the sea. It’s so calm and serene to listen to the water.





I was getting hungry for lunch and stumbled upon a very cute place called The Boca Beach House. Had a delicious pesto chicken salad sandwich, then made my way back to the hotel.


I still had about an hour to kill, so I went down to the hotel pool and swam, laid out, and read my book.


Everyone returned and we cleaned up then found a place to have dinner called Fries to Caviar. Delicious appetizers and entrees. And of course, wonderful company!



Friday morning their meetings weren’t as early, so we got to have breakfast together at the hotel. I returned for a second Orangetheory workout and it was a different workout plan, which kept it challenging and interesting.

After the class, I made my way to the Town Center Mall and did some damage with some retail therapy. 😉

The rest of the afternoon we bounced around town to check out the other OTF gyms. Then it was time to take Eddie and Jaime to the airport.

Since it was our last night there, one of Mike’s friends who was a local to Boca recommended that we make our way down to Atlantic Avenue. I’m sure glad we did because it was so much fun. Kinda reminded me of an Austin/6th Street vibe with a beachy feel. We came across an original Speakeasy and stopped for some delicious cocktails.




We then went to eat at a restaurant called Dada’s which was in a restored historic home. A wonderful ending to our trip!



Tri For Old Glory 2017 Race Report


Tri For Old Glory, one of my favorite triathlons. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to sign up for it this year due to a conflicting schedule, but since I had been talking it up so much for the past 2 years to my friends, (and many of them had signed up for it), I figured out a way to make it work. Sure glad I did, because this “racecation” did not disappoint!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Mike was unable to make it for the race (he was flying out to Florida for a training) so Jeremy & Cristina picked me up at around 7:00am. We hit the road early, and since packet pick up wasn’t until 4:00, we arrived in Gruene for lunch.


Had a delicious meal at one of my favorite restaurants The Gristmill. If you are ever in the New Braunfels area, you absolutely must eat here. Three of our other friends from Brownsville, Ernie, his wife Ruth, and Ryan met up with us to eat. The two guys had also signed up for the Olympic distance. We actually recorded a hilarious podcast at the restaurant while we waited for our food.


We all parted ways and drove into Canyon Lake where we would be staying with our friend and Big Sexy teammate Mike R. His family home was beautiful. Located in the beautiful central Texas hill country. He and his wife were beyond welcoming to let us stay. We got to sit and visit with them for awhile before we headed out to packet pick up.


Made our way into San Marcos River Ranch where the tri would be held. J & C got to see where we’d be swimming and running. We headed back to Mike’s house where he had grilled us a delicious dinner of fajitas, elk sausage, and Mexican rice. We continued to visit and trade stories for the rest of the evening. Was in bed by 9:30.

Sunday, July 9, 2017- Race Day

Woke up at 4:00am. Got all my stuff ready and headed downstairs. I had advised Cris to freeze a water bottle overnight because I knew it would be HOT during the run and there are only 2 water stations which are very far apart. We packed up the trip bags and bikes and hit the road.

Transition opened at 5:30am and by the time we arrived several racers were already there. We got our timer chips, and were body marked, then were able to enter Transition area and set up our stuff. Before we knew it, it was time for the pre-race briefing, Star Spangled Banner, and prayer.




We lined up by the lake and the Olympic swimmers would enter the water first, followed by the Sprint swimmers. Olympic distance is 1500m and Sprint is 500m. Right before we began, the race director announced that there would be a change of plans. Some of the lifeguard crew hadn’t shown up, and so he had to cut the Olympic swim down to a 500m. Many groans and not-so-nice words were heard in the crowd, but I put a positive spin on it and said, “At least we get to swim. Plus, we’d be out on the run earlier so it wouldn’t be so hot” (or so I thought).


The swim start was a time-trial start, meaning each swimmer would enter the water about 8 seconds apart. A much calmer swim start than Buffalo Springs had been. We self-seeded by our 100m swim times and before I knew it, I was in the water and swimming away.

Swim was pleasant; calm and quick. Each buoy came in no time and I was out of the water and into T1.



As I was running into T1 I saw Cristina right behind me. Turns out we had the exact same swim time, down to the second (God, I love that!) We were out and on our bikes together and I planned to try and stay with her the whole ride.

I have to say, I am grateful that I had just done Buffalo Springs 2 weeks ago. Just as New Orleans 70.3 had given me confidence in the swim, Buffalo Springs had given me confidence on the bike. There’s no up or down hill I can’t handle <- is what I tell myself ;).

The bike was very enjoyable and we stayed together the entire time. One big accomplishment I made personally was not getting out of aero on my downhills. I’ve always been such a chicken going down a hill and sit up out of aero with my hands on the breaks. Not today! I had re-read my race report from last year, and remembered saying that I wish I could stay in aero on the downhills. So, I was happy with my little accomplishment this time.

Bike was over soon and we were into T2 ready to head out on the run!



There was not a cloud in the sky. The run course goes through the neighborhood centered around the lake. Although the homes are beautiful, the neighborhood is still fairly new and there is absolutely no shade to keep us cool. That’s where the frozen water bottle came in handy. I used it to spray my head and neck throughout.

I had decided not to bring my watch to this race and so I had no idea of my pace. Although I didn’t feel fast, I felt steady. It’s a 2 loop, 3 mile run, and so I was able to see my friends out on the course. As I ran out to start, Jeremy was already starting his 2nd loop and he breezed right by me like a gazelle.


I saw Bob and Norma coming in on the bike, and saw Gracie as she was finishing her run. Cristina was just a few runners behind me and I was able to see her on the few turnarounds.


The first loop wasn’t too bad, the second loop felt like I was running on the surface of the sun. Hot AF. But I knew if I just kept moving forward the finish line would come, and it did.


I had no idea if I had placed at all, but I was happy to find out that I got 2nd in my age group! This race is fun no matter what, but placing on the podium made it even sweeter.


We cheered everyone else into the finish line and celebrated one another’s accomplishments. There are so many amazing people I have met and made friends with through triathlon and I’m so grateful for it!

Post Race- Party Time

After we got back to the house to shower and pack up, we headed into downtown San Antonio. Jeremy, Cristina, Gracie, and I would be sharing a hotel room. And our friends Manny, Natalie, Bob, and Norma also got a room at the same hotel.

We headed down to the Riverwalk for some fun. Had a blast at several different places including The Original Mexican Restaurant, Pat O’Brien’s, and Howl At the Moon. The night ensued with stories, laughter, singing, and dancing like fools.


All in all, a very successful & joyful weekend! Everyone says they’ll be back for it next year!