Thursday, December 12, 2013

NFL Sunday: Redskins vs Chiefs

Sunday was a special day- I got to take my Dad to a Redskins game. Football is something I love to share with my Daf. He played DIII football and I know he would have be an amazing coach if he could of done that and supported our family. I have so many fond memories growing up of lounging on the couch eating nachos and watching games with my Dad. Taking my Dad to his first outside NFL game and first one live together was super special. And of course it ended up being epic. 

As you can see it was SNOWING! It snowed a few inches then snow ice then sleet rain. We ended up leaving the 4th quarter because we couldn't feel our feet. I wore snow pants it was that cold!

Evidence that it was cold and snowy. I couldn't help but smile the whole time. 

We were so close I got to see the Redskins as they came onto the field. 

This was the point where the ponchos came on and we started to freeze. 

Of course we came home, got in warm clothes and watched the Seahawks vs 49ers game.

A special Sunday with my dad and husband. So grateful.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Another princess in my life

Monday post the princess invasion was a travel day to Boulder. I was off to meet another princess in my life - Miss Valentine Lovato.  

Michael and Amanda Lovato have been
family since I met Amanda in 1998 in Switzerland - ITU triathlon worlds. I was a young teen just learning the ropes. Amanda was full on racing. Since then our husbands have been roommates in Austin, trainer together, vacationed together and this trip celebrated together about the new blessing in their life- their 6 week old daughter.

Seeing them as a family unit was beautiful. They are natural parents. I soaked in as much cuddle and love time that I could. I also made sure the super parents got out on a date because I know it's easy for new parents to never leave home. They snuck out for a movie date while Valentine and I enjoyed Hallmark Christmas movies. 

Babies have the life - eat sleep poop repeat. There is play and snuggle time in there too. 

I haven't been around a young infant that much in a long time. It was for sure a good reminder of what Zane and I will face if we get to have children in future. 

We did sneak out thanks to their very sweet doula, to get a mani/pedi to celebrate and also feel good! The snow started to fall that day (Tuesday) and we woke up to at least 6 inches.

The final two days of the trip I finally had enough energy after the packed weekend/week to get on the treadmill. 

This woodway treadmill is the best treadmill I have ever used. The belt allows your calves, feet etc to feel responsive yet the belt is soft and kind to your legs. Waking up Thursday to -11F meant amore time on this bad boy!

This was a special trip. So grateful for the opportunity to love on the Lovato family. I am already counting down to the next visit with this princess Valentine.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Merry Christmas- Marymount University

The Marymount XCTri team mascot ready for today's 1st annual holiday party. Loads of food, tree decorating and the Grinch movie.

A beautiful team-decorated tree. Special.

The Indomitable Spirit award went to 2 special ladies. They are fighters. 

Someone got pretty wiped out from all the socializing.

We are blessed to have a team that feels like family. It was sad a few athletes couldn't make it, but it was great the athletes could unplug the before Finals next week.

Our apartment is small but we all fit and could celebrate as a team. 2013 XC and Tri Fall season was special. This team has grown and is family to me. I love every bit of being Mama Terra and seeing my Coach husband in his element- working/achieving his dream.

I can't wait to see what the future holds, and to see the team grow each season.

Merry Christmas from the MUXCTri team!

Princess Invasion

My nieces, sister and brother in-law came for a visit the weekend after Thanksgiving. I called it the Princess Invasion because of the joy the sweet kiddos in my life bring me.

It was special to share the city I now call home with my family. And my niece Dwinny was excited for the slumber party at Auntie Yaya's apartment.

We got super Coach Castro away from his full plae at work to explore the zoo with us.  That was a treat for sure.

Princess Dwinny loved the metro - figuring out the different colored lines and what we had to do to get to our destination. 

Grateful The Lord blessed me with siblings. Having a brother and sister has been such a blessing to me. Especially as I get older. 

This photo says it all. Such an awesome weekend with family. Already counting down to the next Princess Invasion.

Monday rolled in quickly and I was off to Boulder to meet a very precious newborn  Princess.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hard Core

These are the brave teenagers in our middle school run club. They braved the cold temperatures and rain yesterday so that we could enjoy a 3 mile adventure in NW DC. 

I loved their energy and laughter as we splashed through puddles and made our way through the city. We are going to all run the Jingle Bell 8k together in a few weeks in full costume. I honestly never knew coaching would be so awesome. Don't really know how to explain it other than these kids know how to shine their light and I am grateful for each of them.

The day before we had 'feels like 17F' temperatures as I met my new 'run at dawn' training partner. I had never worn a scarf in training before, but this Borelli active infinity scarf was my secret weapon to keep my face and lungs warm. I am starting to really embrace these dark, headlamp runs with buddies. Having training partners really helps you get out the door when your warm bed tries to trick you to stay put. 

But if you really want to see some 'hard core' athletes- go on and watch the Driven Series. The Kenyan workout with Jake and Zane. It will give you a glimpse into what it takes. Being a pro isn't all coffee rides and naps in you normatec. It involves huge sacrifices, challenges and being out of your comfort zone to achieve the next level. 

So what makes you feel hard core? Is there something that drives you and makes you feel tougher when you fight through those daily workouts?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

DDCC: Made in San Francisco

 Let me introduce to you a new friend of mine: Diana Mitchell.  Thanks to social media, we have connected and instantly I knew this super woman was rocking it!  Diana is the owner/designer of DDCC (  and is busy producing her first complete activewear collection for women.  It will launch in the Spring 2014 season.
DDCC started with sleek, fitted and made in San Francisco hoodies and tops. The Spring 2014 line includes 5 support tops and leggings, all offered in both cotton and sweat-wicking fabrics. As you can see just in a few photos the line isn't the usual crazy neon workout gear that companies are pushing right now.  
This line is polished and engineered with sleek style lines and color blocking.  What grabbed my attention was the "ANTI-MUFFIN TOP" waistbands! Let's all be honest here- so many of those little spandex numbers you could buy out there do not fit our beautifully,curvy bodies right. We walk into the gym feeling really silly with our cover up options- baggier shirts, longer shirts, layering sweaters (ok- why are we wearing sweaters to the gym!?!)  I love seeing WOMEN designing beautiful, active, functional and fashionable clothes MADE FOR WOMEN.  HIGH FIVE DIANA!
Diana personally tested the line in her yoga classes, Cardio Barre and her first half marathon this past October. This line will inspire you to be active and can easily be worn daily from the gym, to errand running and even just bumming around the house.

I am counting down to the launch of the Spring line. I wear yoga pants daily for massage work, I run in capri tights, and I coach in leggings- Yeah pretty sure this line is a perfect fit for my lifestyle.

Please check out the following links:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Coaching clinic- let your light shine

This past weekend I sat in a overheated high school library (heater broken!) for 22+ hours learning all things related to Track and Field. I was attending the USATF level 1 certification course.  After the joy I felt coaching cross country the last few months, I committed to track and field in the spring. The thing is I have never coached a sprinter or a field event. So, I packed my bags and headed home to Detroit for the clinic. Bonus- family time and learning all in a jam packed weekend.

Being home gives me time with the 3 princesses and 1 prince in my life- my nieces and nephew. I will be open in saying the Castro house is more than ready to be parents and are working on it. I can't imagine the intensity of love parents have for their babies because boy do I love these 4 kiddos so much, as if they were my own. 

Between the clinic schedules and a good bit of running (hey- first race around the corner!) I got ample snuggle time and was able to fulfill my Auntie YaYa duties.

Even Igby enjoyed the time away. He got to play dress up and dollhouse. This dog is probably one of the most patient pups out there. Any dog that will wear a crown is a saint!

It was special to go back to the city where I started triathlon to now ignite my 'official' coaching career. Detroit holds a special place in my heart. 

On the way home Monday I missed an exit off the highway and decided to drive a few streets to just pray for the city. While there is struggle and sadness here, our God is mighty and moves mountains. We are called to be lights in our city, to shine and share His love with others.

 The whole ride home (10 Hours thanks to traffic) I embraced the quiet solo time to have time to pray, sing, write down thoughts (safely at rest stops, not when driving). I currently live in the nation's capital- yet another major city that needs people to shine, to love and embrace it. For me, coaching in the public school system has opened my eyes to all that is in the city. Just running the streets you get to know the city better.

The road ahead is exciting because I have no idea what is next. When you train for an event you map things out, you train specifically to achieve splits etc. In this case, it's all God. He moves the mountains so I am going to get out of the way to let him do so. 

Join me in loving the city you are in. Let's move out of our own way so mountains can move. 

What is brewing in your heart as a way you can shine your light where you are?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Plan in Pencil

 I'll admit it. The last few months have been a bit of a pity party. The body hasn't been feeling good and I allowed myself to get a bit in the dumps. It happens, we start digging this hole and we allow ourselves to "believe" we are stuck. I have slowly found more energy and was motivated thanks to my sweet middle school cross country athletes.  Working with them over the Fall months opened me up to the amazing possibilities of what life will be like now without triathlon racing.  These awesome teen runners motivated me to finally jump back into training. And so I started to PLAN.

Thanks to one of the most recent books I read- RUN FASTER by BRAD HUDSON and Matt Fitzgerald, I tackled putting together an ATP (Annual Training Plan) for myself.  I took the leap into self coaching- to setting on paper some specific goals and races for 2014. First up:  3M Half Marathon.  Here's to hoping I can get in to Marine Corps 2014- the big 2014 goal. First ever open marathon that doesn't involve a 112 mile bike before it.  THE KEY TO MY PLANNING:  PLAN IN PENCIL.  LIFE HAPPENS. BE FLEXIBLE. SET EXCITING GOALS.

The Oyster Adams Middle School Boys Team:  the first championship trophy ever for the Boys.  Hard work and commitment over the last 3 months paid off. I walked away in tears and completely inspired by our girls and boys teams.  Girls placed 2nd too- these ladies are TOUGH COOKIES! I am one proud coach.

The teen runners reminded me to stay strong and SHINE YOUR LIGHT. Our Halloween glow bracelets

It's been a few weeks now into my training schedule.  I am up to normal training volume and able to see the fitness coming back.  I focus on the present because it's easy to compare where I was, what I have done before.  It's all planned in pencil, work happens, a friend needs to talk, a meeting gets scheduled, and so you move things around, you let go of what isn't realistic and you RUN JOYFUL SHINING THAT LIGHT.  

This past weekend my grandparents and Mom came into town to see the home we have created here in DC and what we are doing here with Marymount University etc.  Not many can say they went for a 3 generational progressive run with their family.  My Papa who is 81, had his Garmin cranking out our splits.  It was awesome and so very special.  I did have a run test planned to evaluated where fitness was (recovery week agenda) but I KNOW where I am. HAPPY and GRATEFUL for these moments.

This picture says it all.  My mom tried the slack line at Marymount.  One of our triathletes brought it in for others to try out.  The laughter and happiness.

Plan in Pencil.  You may just find your heart will be more full and the laughter contagious.