Over the past couple of years I have been asked some great questions by other athletes both amateur and professional.  Here are a few:

What is your sporting background?:  I grew up riding horses.  My parents were avid horsemen and I had my first pony waiting for me when I was born.  My first competition was at the age of three.  In high school, I ran.  I competed in cross country and track.  My competition was my younger sister.  We drove each other to be better and faster.  After High School, I ran track at the University of Tennessee.  My events were the 1500 and the 3000m.

When did you become a professional triathlete?:  I turned pro in 2oo3.  My first year as a professional was HARD!  Going from age group to pro is a bigger step than one would think.  It’s very different!

Who braids your hair race morning?:  I braid my own hair.  It takes me less than 2 minutes!  I learned how to braid my own hair when I was 8 years old.  My mother used to french braid my long, thick hair every other day so that she wouldn’t have to spend hours detangling it or getting the dreadlocks out of it.  She would pull my hair so hard that my eyes squinted…(OK, I’m being dramatic…but it hurt!).  I hated getting my hair braided.  Finally after a couple of years of abuse, we made a deal…If I learned how to do my own hair correctly, then she would touch my head anymore.  Voila! I learned QUICK! :)

In your blog, you have been open about your GI problems and racing.  How do you handle it now?  I have had GI issues since childhood.  It started early…I was always allergic to milk.  However, back in the 70′s/80′s nobody really understood food allergies.  I was just considered the gassy one in the family…lol!  My GI problems were exacerbated when I had an emergency appendectomy in 2005.  Since then, I have had to pay special attention to what I eat and drink…although I do “fall off the wagon” at times…lol!

What do you do to relieve some of your GI problems?:  It has taken a lot of patience and a lot of trial and error to figure out what works for me and what does not work for me especially during a race. There have been times when I have been very frustrated. But I never give up…Training and racing are completely different and sometimes the ONLY way to figure out what will work is to experiment during a race.  Sometimes the experiment works to my benefit and sometimes it does not…For me the very best way to have a happy GI is to eat as cleanly as possible.  I try to eat “from the earth”, avoiding processed foods.  I drink 2-3 liters of water daily. I try to eat Gluten Free when possible, even though I am NOT a celiac. I don’t drink diet soda! And I rarely drink regular soda, with the exception of Mexican Coke on a long bike ride.  I limit my caffeine intake to half a cup of coffee per day. And I even eliminated all caffeine in my last race (mentally it didn’t feel so good…but my GI was the BEST it has ever been!). I do not drink alcohol during the season (usually…:)). And I am especially careful to not eat meat 3 days out from an event. Lastly, I use First Endurance liquid shots, EFS, and Ultragen in training and racing not just because they are my sponsor, but because I believe they are the cleanest , best products out on the market.

How/where did you get those abs!?:  Good genes.  My mom and dad both have abs/flat stomachs.  When I am eating right, at my leanest, and  I am a bit dehydrated, the abs look their best.

How many calories does ML eat a day?  Guys love ML (and his body) as much as the girls do.  I counted ML’s calories one day after a moderate training day (about 3-4 hours).  He ate about 8,000 calories! The man can eat a lot of food!  ML is also lucky in the good gene department.  He has had nice abs/muscles since the age of ten.

Where did you get your 58 chainring?:  One word….Bjorn!

Which is better: 650c or 700c wheels?  I love my tiny bike.  I love being low and getting small, especially while riding on a group ride in the middle of a pack!I love wo-man handling my Kestrel Airfoil.  65o wheels did take a small amount of time to get used to.  However, the wait was worth it.  The bike fits me properly and it is FAST!

Where did you and Michael meet?  ML and I met at the amateur world champs in Montreal, Canada in 1999. We soon realized that our one time meeting could become something serious.  After a lot of back and forth between Baltimore and Texas, we moved in 2001 to Boulder  so that we could start our lives together. We were married in Boulder on New Years Eve, 2004.

Where was your favorite race destination?:  Hands down…IM Western Australia!  ML and I love OZ.  If we wouldn’t miss our dogs too much, we would spend at least one winter in OZ…

How tall are you?: I am five foot seven inches.  However, I wear flip flops that make me 5-foot ten! I always dreamed of being taller…

How long have you been racing and what keeps you motivated:  I started triathlon in 1997 as a means of getting in shape and losing a couple of pounds.  I did not know how to swim free style.  I started off with the doggie paddle. lol! If someone would have told me in 1997 that I would become a professional triathlete, living in Boulder during the summers and Austin in the winters, training full time, I would have laughed at them. I never could have dreamed of what my life has become, but I LOVE it and I am extremely grateful for it.  I am motivated by the fact that I feel like I am getting faster and better every year.  My honey, Michael keeps me motivated on the days that I am tired or the days that aren’t so perfect. I am living a dream with my best friend.  What could be better?!?