My amazing journey in California

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What should have been a homecoming to this….

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has unfortunately turned into this….

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Late nights and celebrations are too much for this New Englander homebody, and I am paying for it now. Ahh, the dreaded FLU.  On the bright side, I am back to Kona weight…..hmmm, probably not such a great thing.

This adventure was multifaceted in so many ways, it combined visiting and networking with friends, sponsors, and business partners all while allowing me to play, train, relax, celebrate, drink wonderful wine and eat delicious food in beautiful Southern California.  My first stop, was an annual trip to the wonderful home of Leslie and Geoff Weathersby.  Leslie is the owner of Foodsense Now; and a bada$$ triathlete making her comeback this year, after a tough second half of 2013. Watch out ladies racing 45-49, she is a FORCE to be reckoned with (I’m secretly happy we aren’t racing together this year)!

While visiting with Les, I got the chance to visit with my friend and Mama Betty (one of our teammates christened her that), Kristin Mayer of Betty Designs.  Over drinks and dinner, Kristin shared with me the exciting new designs for early Spring (ok, February, but seriously, that’s spring in SoCal). And, let me tell you….I will be broke.  The collection is amazing.  You will not be disappointed…..here’s a sneak peak.  Can you say OMG???  If you like what you see PM me for savings details.

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Ok fast forward….food, drink, long runs (yes, almost 16 miles one day and some even in the sand), my longest swim since injury (1200 meters whoot whoot), great conversation, an open house tour (yep, 3.1 million over looking a canyon or something), a masters swim party (topic of conversation: “you look cool with pants on”), meet Beth Walsh in person (finally, what a radiating doll), and great food and wine (I think I said that twice)….and back to the freeway I go.

Onward to LA.

My first ever Triathlon Business International Conference!  I am so excited, because this is where it is at!  And, once again, I get to use my somewhat overused phrase, LITTLE FISH BIG POND.  That’s how I feel when I am in the Tri World in California.  This is the mecca. The birthplace. I become one big giant sponge when I am there.  I border on ADHD because there is so much to take in.  This year, however, I have some grounding individuals around me.  Katelyn who has now joined the medical team at Pumpkinman, Jennifer from IMAthlete (a long time friend), Mark Walter the owner of SunMultisports, and Brian Hughes owner of Fast Splits Multisport are all there to keep me from sensory overload.

The conference itself is engaging to say the least.  Travis Tygart synonymous for the ultimate Lance demise was one of the keynote speakers (I sat front and center, and was on the edge of my seat listening – absolutely fascinating to hear him – albeit I knew just about everything he said).  His address, led many to tweet (including me) about his commentary….which infuriated LA.  So much that, he tweeted and requested to come to the conference YIKES!  But after much hoopla and rearranging and unrearranging his lawyers and team suggested it best he not show!  Honestly, I did want him to come. It would have been maybe his last chance to ever have an audience of industry leaders and professionals in one room. I wanted to see what he would say.  Mike Reilly was the MC for the entire weekend, and he tweeted this (ironically in response to ME!)….

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ok….enough about the conference….let’s get to the TBI Active Awards Conference.

You may remember my HUGE PR, Facebook and Twitter Campaign to get  Pumpkinman nominated for some of the awards….well we did.  We were nominated and made the top five for:  Best Small Race, Best Race for Beginners, Best Swag and Bucket List Race.

We took home awards in:  Best Race for Beginners and Best Swag (check out some of the other players)!  This was no joke!!

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Mike Reilly and myself (taken at like midnight – which was 4am EST time hence the way I look BLAH)!

The rest of the Conference was a blur, as I wandered around like Meryl Streep after winning her 5000th award…or was it more like Taylor Swift after she won the first time….who knows, but I felt like Belle of the Ball.

Katelyn and I got the chance to play tourist in the afternoon after the conference wound up and we found ourselves on Venice Beach.  What a freak show!  We took lots of silly photographs and had lots of laughs and it was a great way to wrap up a very successful conference!

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And, then, Tuesday night this appeared at the hotel door…..

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So I packed her in my suitcase, and headed home.

The End.