Summer 2015

I still need more stuff for early July, late August and all of September, please make suggestions. Here is how the summer is panning out:

June 14th  Naperville, Illinois Sprint Tri  (doing this with one with Sandra and Poor Little Tumbleweed Adriana)

June 21st  Columbus, OH Tri Tech Columbus  (I am on a relay team for work and am only doing the swim)

July 10th-12th Ruido Fest in Chicago (I won’t be buying my ticket until June so if anyone knows how I can get it any cheaper pleeeeease let me know).

25 de julio  Teques, Morelos Olympic Tri  (hopefully with my god-brother-in-law Carlos)  Having  previously traveled to Mexico with my bike, Keni Styles to Mexico, I’ve decided this is too much and I’d rather just rent when I arrive…so I am open to suggestions on this.  Ideally, I would still like to use SPDs.

August 14-16 Nashville, Indiana Tour de Upland (cycling, camping and swimming with McPocho and Andy)

Voy a necesitar bici en el de Teques…¿algún consejo de como conseguir bici cuando o antes de que llego?


It has been awhile since I posted and this is mostly so I can keep slight track of what I’ve been doing (I was much better about blogging and keeping a nice spreadsheet of my meets/times before—I’ll need to get back on that for 2015).

OSU 4 miler

OSU 4 miler

OSU 4 Miler  Sept. 21 2014:    Lordy, this race was difficult.  Not because of the distance or weather but because I did it with one of my students.  She was not used to running and it became more of a Fartlek training where she would sprint as hard as she could for about 20 seconds then come to a dead stop, wait until she felt completely normal and then sprint has hard as she could for another 20 seconds—we did this for all 4 miles and it took us nearly an hour to finish.  I think I have felt less tired after Olympic distance triathlons then I did after this race.

Broke Man’s 1/2 Marathon  October 5th:  I loved this race!  It was a no-thrills race–I think it was a $10 entry, and I took it easy.  I did it with my friends Jessica B. and Sandra E.  I  walked a lot of it, enjoying the day and did it in about 3 hours (there was no timing).

Buckeye Barbell Club Push-Pull competition  October 26th:  This was my first power-lifting competition and was lots of fun!  I had great encouragement from strangers and friends, Amber, John, Norm, and Suzanne.  I had no idea how much I could actually lift and had never practiced.  My buddy John didn’t tell me what he put down on my third deadlift and just told me to get out there and try…and I lifted it…later finding out it was 185lbs.  I’d like to lift 200+ by the end of 2014.  Video (elenamary deadlift) was taken by Amber doing the 185 deadlift.  Warning I say a vulgarity.

Amish 1/2 Marathon November 29th:  By the time I finished the race I hadn’t slept in 30+ hours, I had driven to the race straight from work and only when I arrived there did I realize I also hadn’t eaten since the previous day.  I remembered I had a slice of Hounddogs Pizza (i should get them to sponsor me) in my gym bag.  I stood surrounded by competitors waiting for the race to begin while eating my slice.  There were tons of hills, I was exhausted and hallucinated an ocean.  I had hoped to finish at about 2 hours…I finished in 2:53.

strong women


I went on two dates with two different men this week, and the best part was after the second date I got to home to a bag of trail mix and to the documentary Strong! (I’ll include it below and hope you’ll watch).

ladies I train with

I am on the far right. These are a couple of the lovely strong ladies I train with

Date #1 let me know that he was more attracted to petite women, and women whiter than me.

Date #2 explained that he didn’t like women with lots of muscles.  It is just “too much muscles for a woman”.  He used my gym girlfriends as examples of unattractive.

I came home feeling fat, big, too masculine, unattractive and pissed that I felt those ways. Pissed at myself for being illogical, pissed at those men, pissed at societal norms, and culturally standards of beauty that I tell myself are absurd, however, truth is, they still fucking hurt.  Luckily, I’ve great friends like Sharon Moss a national Strongwoman, who by great fortune, posted a link to the movie Strong!  I’ve wanted to see Strong! for a couple of years now, and for this week only it is available for free viewing at PBS’ Independent Lens.

You know, I am not as strong as I’d like to be, but I am strong, and getting stronger and it is coming from the encouragement of the women around me who lift.  Women who value all bodies for their strengths.  Here is a video of me lifting with encouragement from my friend Hannah.  No matter what anyone says I love how I look in it (although I need to work on my form)!  Now, I just need to find someone else to train with as Hannah moved away earlier this week.

Elenamary lifts (click for video)

always lube

they looked worse a few days ago ;-)

they looked worse a few days ago ;-)

Always lube. More importantly for me, always lube the boobs. I need to remember that. A couple weeks ago I did a sprint triathlon and chaffed a tad in the boobs and thought “man, I should’ve lubed”. This past Sunday I did an olympic distance triathlon (a longer distance), I didn’t lube.  I remember thinking, “meh, it will be okay”. It wasn’t okay I chafed the hell out of my boobs this time. When I saw my doctor Monday, she asked during the breast exam if my partner had done that to me or if I’d done it to myself.
I explained that, I had done it to myself, as an idiot for failing to lube on race day.

the triathlon running that caused that boob chafing

the triathlon running that caused that boob chafing

Truth is, however, I don’t feel like a total idiot, I feel hardcore.  Just like the new calluses and dead skin falling off my hands, the blisters on my feet, the lack of toe nails, I love all of it. I love what my body is capable of. I love the formation of it becoming a stronger person.  I was showing off my scars to my friend Hannah, a power lifter, and she “ewwed” and told me to put my boobs away (in her defense we were in public on the TRX machine).   I explained that no, I would not be ashamed of my boob gashes. My wounds are impressive and magnificent just like the fact that she has bruises up her legs and no skin on her shins these are things to be proud of.  We are living life fully, pushing ourselves, and it is awesome.   All of this, reminded me a great article I read  When Women Wear Bruises to Work,

Almost every bruise, scrape and scar on my body comes with a fond story. The dent from that tree I didn’t quite dodge, the scar from the scrappy rappel, the bump from that confoundedly sandy 5.10 sport route. They are the marks of living life passionately. And the women I want to spend my time with also proudly bear the marks of living in pursuit of adventure.

Like the author, I am glad I am finding adventure and surrounded by other women who are too.

Tri for Joe 2014

too tired to write but want to remember some points for future reference/lessons learned.

1. Adjust boobs better in this suit or else the right boob will come out during the swim.

2. Do not get over confident about my time/place.  This is why I got second.  I thought I had it, and I took my time in transition and look where it got me?  I am a first place loser.

3. Be nice to children. That mom almost made me cry, thanking me for helping her daughter; remember her words and be kind to others.

4. Always bring extra of everything not just a suit (this includes running belt!).

5. Train harder, race more. Push my race limits.

6. Pack instant coffee.

7.  Have more confidence in my ability to adapt to the cold weather.

8.  I don’t need music, I just need my mantra.

9.  Stop thinking I run 10 minute miles—  I don’t.  If I can do 9 minute miles after swimming and biking surely I can do that when training?!

10.  Enjoy it.  This is a good life.

Race Karma

Elenamary in Tunchang, Hainan International Mountain Bike Riace

Elenamary in Tunchang, Hainan International Mountain Bike Race

I was very angry after participating in a mountain bike race, where I’d spent most of the race encouraging a woman who had all but given-up and cried through most of it.  Walking the course was worse than riding it but I couldn’t convince her of that.  As we came to the end of the course a straight away to the finish line she jumped on her bike, cut me off along the path and rode to the end leaving me to come in last.  I figured that was fine, it really didn’t matter but I did expect that when I crossed she would thank me for hanging back with her but she didn’t.  My friend Norm also competed in the race. It was to Norm I ranted about my frustration and he convinced me to let go of the anger,  that in helping her, I had just earned myself “race karma”.  That people were going to help me out, and that I would be grateful for that “race karma”.

It has worked out that way, before and since that race.   The first 1/2 marathon I did took me 3 hours to finish.  I was (still am) sloooow, very slow, and my friend Yoni ran with me the whole way.  I am sure Yoni was bored.   I am sure it would have been easier for Yoni to speed-up than to stay at my snail pace, but I would never have finished without his encouragement.   There was the Carlsbad race where Nathan stayed with me the first 10 miles and kept me motivated. There was my first olympic distance triathlon, where the fork of my frame rubbed into my tire, my chain kept popping off, and by the time I got to the run they had shut down all the water stations.  I met a stranger, a man named Rick from Loveland, he biked next to me offering encouragement.  Rick waited for me at the end of my run, when no one else was left.

Erick, Elenamary y Black

Erick, Elenamary y Black

There was Black and Erick in Mexico. I had never met them before, when I competed for a national triathlon slot, and without their encouragement I wouldn’t have even made it to the race.  This is to say there are lots of people who have helped me out in multiple races, and I feel like I’ve never been able to return the favor.  That was until yesterday.

Yesterday, as per my usual May ritual I got to run the Columbus 1/2 marathon. However, this time with my undergraduate students.  We were running as part of a group, LEAP (Latinos Empowering Action and Perseverance), that through athleticism raises scholarship funds for DACA students.  For the first time,I got to be the strong one and lead.  A couple of the students wore the gift bags we’d been given for the race, to the race.  This wasn’t going to work, and so we put everyone’s stuff together in one backpack and I carried it for the 13+miles  (around mile 7 we passed one student’s car and dropped off his stuff).  It felt so good to motivate and to carry the weight. It felt almost as wonderful as if I’d set a personal best.   I felt like a proud mama hen seeing the students meet their own three hour goal and watching them cross.

students LEAP race