Training Journal – Baby’s Second Tri

I don’t know if I ever mentioned it before but in 2008 I did an indoor sprint triathlon in Wisconsin. I was part of a triathlon training group and the indoor tri was practice for timing, transition, and the feeling of a competition atmosphere. It was a lot of fun, and I felt like I was almost ready for the Danskin Women’s Triathlon when I had to move to Chicago and didn’t get to do it. Still, I thought it was a lot of fun and wanted to do one in the future.

Flash forward to today, when I decided I was going to try and do a mini-sprint triathlon – the Spa Girl tri. I’m pretty excited about it but I was wishing I had the opportunity to practice my timing and transition. Enter the Divas Virtual Sprint Triathlon.

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In 2017, Charlotte and I decided to run the Divas Half Marathon. It wasn’t an exciting route and we were disappointed by the lack of firemen by the time we finished, but we got the biggest medal we’ve ever seen and took pictures of ourselves in tiaras and boas.

The race was geared toward women, with an emphasis on inclusiveness and achievement, so I was excited about the virtual tri. I can do most or all of it indoors, it’ll give me a chance to practice timing and transition, and it’ll be as fun as the indoor triathlon I did in Wisconsin. Charlotte’s already making fun of me because I plan to put a triathlon magnet on my car but I don’t care. I’m totally going to be That Guy.

I talked one of my Possum buddies into doing it with me too, so that’ll be fun! It won’t be the same experience as the Spa Girl triathlon but we’ll have a good time and get a fancy medal to boot. I can’t wait to see the size of this thing.

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Evening Walks

I had a great time walking in the wooded trails with one of my best friends a week or two ago and got the chance to try out my new phone camera. It’s supposed to be fancy-schmancy so I was looking forward to walking and hunting tarantulas with Karey.

Sadly we did not see any tarantulas. We did see lots of burrows but as it was looking like rain, no one was coming out. We did see several jumping spiders, bunnies, some bees, massive ants, and a handsome lizard. I also found out that my camera takes amazing pictures, even when zoomed in!

I did learn a lot about tarantulas, even though we didn’t get to see any. For instance, did you know that the majority of tarantulas you see just hanging around are Texas Tans? I didn’t! I knew that the one people keep as pets is the Rosy-Legged but Karey says that the wild population is suffering because most of them are captured in the wild for the pet trade, and that she predicts that the Texas Tan will be the new hotness. Sometimes I think I’d like a spider, as would my husband, but the cats would probably turn the tank over to get at the crawly friend. They already terrorized my elderly betta Parsley in his final months.

Honestly I think my favorite part of the walk was chatting with Karey about this and that, enjoying the evening and telling her basically the entire plot of my next project. She is as enthusiastic as me about it and I can’t wait to give her a copy. I’d really like to try going for more walks with her in the evening, since it’s getting so hot around here. It’s nice to just take it slowly and enjoy nature once in a while. Plus, tarantulas!

Training Journal – What It Takes to Be a Badass

img_3612My best friend likes to talk me into things. I’ve known her since middle school and we’re close enough that she calls us “sisters of the heart.” Thankfully, the things she talks me into are often good for me. This time she talked me into (another) half marathon.

When I first started running in 2014, I saw a flyer for the then-named Badass Brazos race. It was billed as the “hottest, hilliest half in Texas.” I told my husband that I would never attempt that thing, mainly because I didn’t want to die. Two years later, Charlotte pops into my email suggesting I be a badass with her and run this race.

I love running with Charlotte, even though she’s faster than me. I love the post-race rehashing of our favorite and the toughest miles, the feeling of sharing something special, and of course the post-race selfie with the medal. Sometimes during a hard race, all you can do is think of the medal.

They renamed the race the Badass Texas half at some point, and according to their website the thing was on a flatter course. Friends, if that’s what they called flat, I’m not sure I want to know what they call hilly.

It started off all right. Not too humid, a little warm but nothing I haven’t run in before. It started at 6:45 so it was even a little dark. Charlotte went to join her pacer and I went to join mine, we hugged and said we’d see each other at the finish line. At Mile 3, we hit our first big hill. By Mile 7, when the major hills started coming, I was already tired. To make things worse, the sun was out and slowly baking me. The race directors had anticipated this and put water stops at every mile instead of every 2 miles, and there was ice cold water, iced towels, and energy packs available at every station. Even with this extra support I was wishing for the thing to be over when I wasn’t even halfway through.

Then came Mile 11.img_3609

Actually it was more like Mile 11.5, but I don’t want to be nitpicky. All of a sudden I was feeling lightheaded, clammy (bizarrely enough), and extremely nauseous. I knew what this meant. I’d crossed the line from being hot to heat exhaustion. I was determined to finish, though, and with encouragement from Charlotte’s husband and son, I made it over the finish line and received my enormous medal.

We drank two ice-cold bottles of water, ate oranges in the shade, and were even treated to snow cones but we still felt like we were melting. We both swore we’d never do this thing again, and that distance races were out of the question for the rest of the summer. Still, we did it.

img_3562I started running again in 2016 to try and lose weight, and while I have lost some it’s no longer the reason I run. Even at my slowest, I’m amazed at what my body can accomplish. I never thought I’d be able to run a 10K, let alone a half marathon or a 30K. I’ve had some rough times and even ate pavement recently, but I am proud to call myself a badass and can’t wait to see what Charlotte talks me into next.

Definitely no more half marathons this summer, though. It’s too damn hot.

Non-Stop

This year is going to be really huge for me. I had a book release in March, another coming out next month, and another pair of projects for later in the year.

My boss told me the other day that he’s impressed that I’m so prolific. I explained to him that I’d written the majority of Drowned History a few years ago and only polished it at the end of last year for release in March. Only a Rogue Knows was written as part of the Every Rogue’s Heart box set, it only needed a bit of expansion and another edit or two. The two I’m working on at the moment are ones I’ve written (or in one case am still writing, the other is almost in edits), so technically I’m only writing two this year, possibly three so I have one for next spring.

I had hoped to release a historical and a contemporary each year, but it seems that this year I’ll be completely focused on historicals. I have a contemporary written that only needs to go for edits, so I suppose I could release that in the spring, and I’m hoping to start my vampire series next year too. I’ve got some Western romances I want to work on too, so I’ll probably do some of that too.

Amusingly enough, I got an amazing idea a few weeks ago for a contemporary about a bodyguard and the son of a mob boss and I’ve spent the last week or so outlining it for later. I’m thinking about doing it for my Camp NaNoWriMo project in July, or possibly November. If it turns out halfway decent, off to editing it goes. I’ve also been thinking about rewriting At Her Pleasure, the pirate novella I wrote last year, as a full length novel. There’s so much I could still write about Bronwyn and Gregory!

This is one of my favorite Ra Ra Riot songs, and one I like to listen to when I want to get pumped up for what’s ahead. Because to quote the song, I am absolutely crushing everything.

Tiny Kitten Toes

Well, guess who got another dang cat? If you guessed it was me, you’re very correct. I would like you all to meet my new babycat, Robin Lord Tater Tot.

If you’re a fan of Gotham, you’ll recognize that I’ve basically named her after the guy who plays The Penguin. He’s a really cool guy, an animal lover, and a great actor. Who else can convincingly do heartbroken one minute then swing completely the opposite direction to murdering someone with a beer bottle?

Anyhow, this little fritter was found by a lady who works at the bank next to our clinic and she called to see if someone could come and check to make sure she wasn’t injured. I went over and immediately fell in love. She was found in the middle of the road, frightened and weak, with her mama hit by a car on the side of the road. The lady scooped her up and brought her to the bank and the rest, as they say, is history.

There was a whole lot of hissing the first night she was home, and my husband was so worried that the other cats wouldn’t like her. As it turns out, she is Lemondrop’s new BFF. It took them a couple of days but now they play gently, chase each other, share toys and today I caught them cuddling by the window. I think she needed someone close to her own age; my other cats are 13, 8 and 7 and they don’t want to tussle as roughly as they used to. I even brought her home on Lemondrop’s birthday!

 

This kitten is ridiculously agreeable! She loves to cuddle, regularly falls asleep on me at night, meows gently when she wants to be fed, and has already learned to get in the big cat litter boxes, take a flying leap off the couch without hurting herself, and climb up the couch to see us. My husband is in awe of how smart she is, and you can definitely see the wheels turning in her little head. She’s only about 5-6 weeks old, so I’m a little excited to see how she does when she’s older. I think she’s going to be a good fit for our family.

I had to do a little convincing to get my husband to let me bring her home but once he met her he fell in love. My main argument was that she needed us and also that with Rufus gone we had a slot in our house for a fifth cat. She’s currently eating Royal Canin Babycat (the cutest food ever) and is doing very well. I’m excited to have a new baby in the house and can’t wait to share more pictures with y’all!

 

Such a Tease

I love sharing good news, so working on projects I can’t yet go into detail about drives me crazy. I love my current project so much that I want to tell you all about it, but you’ll have to wait a little longer to hear about it. What I can tell you is that next month you’ll be able to get a free book as a part of it! You get get it even sooner by subscribing to my mailing list, and read the story before anyone else. My mailing list will only go out about once a month, and you’ll get previews of my books and be the first to know about new projects in the works. Sign up here!

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Next month I’ll get to share a little more about the project and in July I’ll share the cover when the preorder begins. I’m so excited! I know I say that a lot but it’s easy to get excited when you love what you do.

While you’re waiting, you can still buy Drowned History for $0.99 on Kindle or read for free in KU.

Preorders for Only a Rogue Knows are also still happening for $0.99 until June 12th, onlyarogueknows_mediumwhen you’ll be able to read it for free in KU or buy a print copy from me.

On a related note, this fall I’m going to be doing some book reviews on Tuesdays! I’m looking forward to reading some great books and sharing my opinions with you. Because as we all know, I have plenty of opinions.

Training Journal – Bad Mother Runner

For those of you who don’t know, I actually have two stepdaughters. I haven’t seen either of them in years due to circumstances, but I do think of them often. I don’t think this necessarily means I’m a mom, but I do spend a lot of time mothering my cats so there’s that. Anyway, it’s my love of cats that got me into this nonsense in the first place.

You see, our clinic has a cat. I’ve mentioned her before, and everyone refers to me as her bestie. Because of something I did during an emergency with a patient, she broke her leg and I’ve been beating myself up about it for days. I had a really rough couple of days and decided that I needed to do something to feel better about myself. Enter the Mother’s Day half marathon.

Even though it was going to be a full 2 weeks sooner than I planned for my first half marathon since doing the Cowtown half, I had planned to run 9-10 miles on Sunday so

this didn’t seem like too much of a stretch. I was nervous, though, super nervous that I would fail or hurt myself, or just plain finish last. That’s happened to me before and it’s really embarrassing, even though I know I should be glad I finished.

It actually went really well at the beginning. I managed to sustain a 12:07-12:15 mile for 9 miles…then the sun came out. I do not do well in direct sunlight or with steep hills, and this course had a little of both. I didn’t improve my time from last year but I also didn’t do worse, so I’m calling it a win. I also got this great purple medal, which was just an added bonus.

In two weeks I’ll be running the Badass Texas half marathon with my best friend, and I’m hoping I’ll do a little better but if I can just stay at this level I’ll be happy.

And hey, my time on Sunday was about 10-12 minutes faster than February, so there’s that.