It’s time for a LONG overdue follow-up and final ROCKSTAR tribute!! I received a few last donations in the days right before my race, and even a few in the days following my race, and I want to be sure to give thanks. So... just like Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, Round 5, Round 6, and Round 7, the rules are the same: For each donor mentioned, I'm including the state they sent me their donation from, and how long I've known them. These are listed in alphabetical order by first name:

David B (Florida): David is the owner of Tri@ sports apparel. Through his website, tri-at.com, he sells some really comfortable tri shorts, and has a special design for Team in Training. David donates a portion of the proceeds from these shorts to LLS, and kindly donated to my fundraising campaign for each pair of shorts that one of my TEAMmates ordered! This ensured that his donation went straight to the Georgia Chapter.

Elyse I (California): Elyse is a co-worker and friend of my Mom’s. She is supportive of LLS, having lost her mother to blood cancer about 5 years ago.

Judy H (Georgia): Judy is the mother of my neighbor Jody. Judy lost her dear husband to brain cancer 2 years ago, and is a very generous supporter of cancer research programs. For the past 2 years, Judy and her family have formed a team for the annual Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation 5K Run/Walk, and we are honored to participate and raise funds as a part of Jack’s Creel Crew!

Randy L (Iowa): Randy is my cousin, and another grandchild of Vera, my honored hero.

Tom & JoAnn King (California): Tom & JoAnn have been friends of my parents for many years. Tom recently lost one of his oldest and best friends to lymphoma.

THANK YOU all for your support!! You helped me bring my GRAND TOTAL in donations to $3,779.00!!!


15 States Now!!

I've received a few more "post-race" donations to TNT (I will do another ROCKSTAR post shortly), but I am now up to a grand total of 15 states!! WOO HOO!!!


  • California

  • Delaware

  • Florida

  • Georgia

  • Idaho

  • Iowa

  • Michigan

  • Missouri

  • Nevada

  • North Carolina

  • Ohio

  • Oregon

  • South Carolina

  • Texas

  • Washington


My Tribute Race Belt

Any of you who donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) on behalf of my race received an email from me several weeks ago asking for the names of your "Honored Heroes." Below is a picture of the race belt I wore during the run portion of my triathlon last week:

I know it's a little difficult to see, but the foam stars have the name of all of your (and my) honored heroes that I raced in MEMORY of. Sadly, these people lost their battle with leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma. The three foam flowers on the right (in the picture above) are for the heroes that I raced in HONOR of. These brave folks have fought hard and SURVIVED one of these blood cancers!

(The large flower is for my grandma..."Nanny") :-)

I am going to disassemble the belt and send each of you the foam shape containing the name of your relative/friend - I am SO honored to have raced on their behalf!!!

Speaking of donations...do you know that YOU ALL helped me raise OVER $3600.00 for LLS???!!! THANK YOU!!!


Race Report - Aflac Iron Girl Atlanta Triathlon

My first triathlon is now behind me...I am officially a triathlete! Forgive me in advance if this race report is long, but I really want to remember all of the amazing things about that day/weekend/week!

My "race week" actually started last Wednesday when I left work and picked up my Mom & Dad, who had just flown in from California to visit and see my race. You see, when I was in CA at Christmastime, my Mom had just gone through major back surgery. I hadn't even officially signed up for Team in Training or the triathlon at that time, but I had been looking into it. I told Mom that she needed to heal her back and get well because I wanted her and Dad to come to Georgia in June to watch me complete my first triathlon. I was planning to join TNT and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in memory of my grandmother (Mom's Mom).

Unbeknownst to all of us at the time, Mom's back surgery was only the first of 3 major surgeries she would need in just five months' time. She went through some trying times where we were really unsure whether or not she'd feel well enough to make the trip. I held off on booking their flights - and couldn't even imagine them not being here for my race! Miraculously, she made major strides in her recovery in the first few weeks of June, and by the time she landed in Atlanta - she was back to the active, awesome Mom that she's always been!

Thursday and Friday were spent running all over town shopping and getting the house ready for the Iron Girl after-party that we were hosting at my house. Mom & Dad tirelessly prepped food, set up tables, chairs, & ez-ups, etc.

Saturday started with a nice visit to the local Farmer's Market and breakfast at the park. While Mom stayed home to prep more party food, Dad and Mike accompanied me to Lake Lanier Islands to check-in for the race. This includes picking up my race packet (and goody bag) and racking my bike in transition.

After a quick open water swim in Lake Lanier, we headed home to get ready for the TNT Pasta Party reception. At the Pasta Party, I was recognized as a "ROCK STAR" fundraiser - for raising $1000 or more over my event minimum. I received a goody bag full of TNT swag and an AMEX gift card!!

Heading home after the pasta party (around 9:30pm), I SHOULD have gone straight to bed. Meaning, I SHOULD have had all my race gear packed in my transition bag, my water bottles ready, etc... But, I had been pretty busy for the past few days...and anyone who has ever vacationed with me knows that I don't pack ANYTHING until the last minute anyway! Besides, I didn't really think I'd be able to sleep the night before the race..

So, I printed off my checklist of gear needed, ran up and down the stairs getting my stuff together, and generally made noise all around the house until well past 11:30! I know, my spectators were probably trying to get some sleep ;-) Once I finally went to bed, I slept very restlessly, waking every 30-45 minutes or so until the alarm went off at 3:30am!

I donned my TNT tri outfit, ate a banana and some peanut butter, grabbed a protein bar and a Diet Coke (and my gargantuan gear bag) and headed out the door at 4:10am. Met my team in the Legacy Lodge hotel lobby at 4:45 for a team picture - then we all headed over to the transition area. We had a slight snag in our plan when we were forced to park in the lot that was at least a 15 minute walk away...but we just used this as our pre-race warmup!

As I was setting up my transition area, I was a little surprised to see how many women were so unprepared. Several asked to use my bike pump (which was fine), but I overheard several others say "no, my tires feel fine!". Another girl started freaking out and asked to use my cell phone because she had left her race bib number at home and was trying to get a hold of her boyfriend to bring it to her. He called back no less than 6 times while I was trying to set up my area and "get zen." Hello? Um, yeah, let me find her in the field of 1200 girls running around here! My point here is that I started feeling VERY confident in all of the training and advice that we have been given by our amazing coaches and mentors through TNT!!!

The family arrived outside transition right before 6:30am, just as we needed to head down to the beach to line up for the race start. My Mom totally surprised me by making t-shirts for the family (and my friends) to wear at the race!

Right before the start of the race:
We lined up by age group and started in waves, 5 minutes apart. I was in the first wave (purple swim caps) and was in the water at 7:00am, right behind the pros!

And we're off...can you find me? ;-)

The swim was 1/3 mile, or approximately 536 meters. I finished the swim in 13:21. Here I am (2nd one in line) coming out of the lake and running up the first BIG hill of the race! It was a KILLER!

I spent 3:15 in T1 (transition #1) - which is basically the time from getting out of the water until you mount your bike. This involves running up aforementioned BIG HILL, around the transition gates, and to your bike rack. I quickly rinsed any remaining sand from my feet, put on socks, bike shoes, bike helmet, sunglasses, and bike gloves, and ran out of transition. Here I am heading out for the 18 mile bike ride:

Friends who came to watch :-)

I have to say, whether it was the adrenaline or the competition, I felt very strong on the bike leg! When we rode this course a couple of weeks ago, I averaged 14.4 mph on the VERY HILLY course. On race day, I averaged 15.6 mph, and finished the bike leg in 1:09:18. I was SO thankful not to have gotten a flat tire or had any other mechanical problems - not even a lost chain!!! YAY!!! Here I am spotting my family/friends when coming in on the bike leg:

T2 (Transition #2) is a little less involved than T1. It involved re-racking your bike, swapping bike shoes for running shoes, a bike helmet for a running hat, removing your bike gloves, putting on your race belt, and in my case, changing sunglasses (just a preference), and pulling on the cute camo skirts that many of my TEAMmates wore (we're going to be on TV, after all!). I spent 2:26 in T2. I had my one "oatmeal brain" moment in T2, when I only remembered to remove ONE bike glove. As I ran out of transition and down the hill (where all the spectators were), I looked down and realized I was still wearing my bike glove on my right hand! WTH? Apparently this was my tribute to the King of Pop's recent passing! Luckily, our tri tops have little pockets in the back, so I had a place to shove the dumb little glove during the run! Here I am heading out for the 5K (3.1 mile) run:

The run was where I really started to feel the heat of the day! It was warm, the run was hilly, and my legs just felt like they wouldn't move quite as fast as I wanted them to (this is typical of running after a long bike ride). But, I continued to push through. About 3/4 mile in, there was a guy dressed as the devil (pitchfork and all), chasing us up the first big hill screaming "get up MY hill!" I actually was laughing so hard that my right side started hurting! Shortly after the devil, there was an aid station, where I took a sip of water and dumped the rest of the cup over my head - OMG did that feel good! The next aid station had cold sponges that you could put on your neck, under your shirt, etc...that was another welcome relief! By the third aid station, I decided to take a sip of Gatorade, since my side was really starting to cramp up. Somewhere right around mile 3 (right before the hill to the finish line), I rounded a corner and saw this:

My Mom is just the BEST! Another surprise! And I was SO thankful for sunglasses (and the rapidly approaching finish line), because I just started crying when I saw this! I took a turn up the final hill to finish, and saw the official clock as I crossed. It said 2:05:xx - I just starting sobbing again! You see, my personal goal was to finish sub-2:15. Based on my wave start (when I actually crossed the start line), I knew I had done it in 2:03 or better! Despite a run time of 33:01 (11 minute mile average), I completely blew away my overall goal!

My official chip time was 2:01:20! I am an Iron Girl and a Triathlete!!!

Stay tuned...more about my tribute race belt and my "thank yous" to follow...