Keep Moving Forward

If you had asked me a week ago, what my blog was going to be about, I would have told you it was going to be a race report on what I learned and experienced at Tri Fort Worth 70.3 triathlon. Unknown to me, Mother Nature had other plans for my Sunday, May 20th.

Going into the race, I had certain expectations for myself but also understood that 7 days before the race, I fell on my bike and was nursing my knee back to health. Fortunately, the fall was not at high speeds. I call it a “brain fart”…I was stopping at a light and thought I had unclipped from my bike pedal…well I hadn’t and down I went. Initially, it didn’t seem like a bad fall. I had about 20 miles left of the 40+ mile bike ride and figured everything would be just fine. As the training ride went on, my knee started hurting more and more. After the ride, my coach had us running, but when I tried, my knee was not going to tolerate the pounding. With Tri Fort Worth in 7 days and having way more pain in my knee than expected, I decided to take the week off from training. The focus became taking care of my body, icing and elevating my knee every night and I lived on anti-inflammatory meds till the day before the race.

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Fast forward 7 days to May 20th, my knee was still hurting but most of the swelling had gone down. I figured I would just take the race easy and everything would be fine. Michael and I woke up around 3am and were out the door by 4am. My mom and friend from Moldova, Alina, met us in the hotel lobby and we all headed out together (dark and early). Tri Fort Worth has two transition spots (T1 & T2); the busses were picking up athletes at T2 and shuttling us down to the swim start. We decided to ride the bus out to the swim start instead of drive due to being unsure of the parking situation. Michael checked his email for information regarding the swim being wetsuit legal, but instead he found an email about severe weather in the Fort Worth area. It was not raining on us but was windy. We got on the bus as scheduled around 4:30am. Then we proceeded to wait, and wait, and wait. The busses were supposed to constantly shuttle athletes and supporters from 4:30-5:30am, but we were not moving anywhere. Finally, a volunteer from the race informed us that there was severe rain at T1 and we were to stay put until the storm passed through as there was no shelter out by the swim start. It wasn’t until after 6:00am that they started the busses up and headed out. (An hour and a half sitting on a school bus was not as fun as one might think.)

As the busses headed out, all was going well and even though the morning had been a bit of an emotional whirlwind, we were on our way out to the race start and I was feeling good. I nodded off for a few moments and when I opened my eyes, we were heading back to downtown where T2 was…why were we heading back to where the busses picked us up? Well, our bus driver was having some navigation trouble due to road closures and got lost…athletes promptly got us back on track and we finally arrived at T1!

I thought, ok, smooth sailing from here…we got body marked, set up T1 with our nutrition and hydration and were heading down to the swim start. The race was scheduled to start at 7:00am. It was about 6:40am and Michael and I were getting ready to put our wetsuits on when we heard a race official come over the loud speaker. He proceeded to tell us to take shelter as the storms were coming again. A bunch of athletes took shelter in cars and under the medal roof structures (I know shelter under medal structures is not smart but that was the only thing there) until the busses returned out to T1. As we sat and watched the rain I stayed hopeful that it would be a fast moving storm and the race could continue. When the busses arrived, we moved from the medal structure to the busses and proceeded to watch as our bikes and gear were poured on and lightning was all around. Time passed, I continued to be hopeful. I thought, well at least I am spending time with Michael. Finally around 8:00am we were told that the race was canceled.

Processing all the emotions that morning was a bit taxing. I felt everything from wonder, confusion, unbelief, excitement, joy, hope and disappointment. We have never had a triathlon, bike or run race cancelled on us. Cap Tex was the only triathlon the swim was cancelled due to weather, but we were able to do the bike and run portion of the race.

This weekend, was a true test of flexibility and being able to Keep Moving Forward no matter what has been dealt to you. I was also reminded to embrace each and every moment because our future is uncertain.  Life is full of roller coaster moments and every day is a gift. Sometimes it does not go as we anticipate, but it is our responsibility to make the most and continue moving forward. Even though the weekend did not go as planned, what really mattered is that I got to spend priceless time with family and the man I love exploring a new city and loving every moment!

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The last image in this collage is of delicious coffee. On our way home from Fort Worth, we stopped in Marble Falls at this local coffee shop, Mojo Coffee. The service was great and the coffee was tasty!

For Nostalgic Sake

The recipe below is one of my family’s recipes. My grandmother loved to bake and she made the best ever banana bread. Is it healthy…not by any means…there is Crisco in the recipe.  In my opinion, it’s normal to occasionally have a special treat, and this is a special treat for me and my family. I love this recipe because it makes me think of my grandparents every time I make it and it tastes amazing! Both of my grandparents have passed and I miss them dearly. This blog is in memory and love of my wonderful Grandma and Grandpa Cooper. I hope you enjoy my Grandma Wilma Cooper’s banana bread recipe.


Grandma’s Banana Bread
Servings: 30 (10 per loaf); Serving Size: 1 slice

3 cups white flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup Crisco
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons Mootopia
3 eggs
5 bananas, very ripe
1 cup pecans, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and Crisco and beat until mixture is blended.
  3. In small bowl, combine vinegar and Mootopia. Add to flour mixture.
  4. Add eggs to flour mixture and blend well.
  5. Add bananas to flour mixture and blend well.
  6. Add chopped pecans and blend well.
  7. Pour evenly into three greased loaf pans. Bake for 30 minutes and rotate bread to cook evenly. Cook for another 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Cut each loaf into 10 slices and serve hot.

Note: I often freeze bananas that are not “edible” to me and use them in the bread. If using frozen bananas, allow to thaw or microwave until slightly icy feeling. The texture of the batter seems to be thicker and cook better when the bananas are not completely thawed.

Note: I prefer to break the pecan halves into quarters rather than chop them into tiny pieces. It’s a texture thing.

Nutrition Facts: Calories 137, Total fat 7g, Saturated Fat 3g, Cholesterol 19mg, Sodium 50mg, Potassium 85mg, Total Carbohydrate 19g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 1g


Happy Valentine’s Day from the Neugebauer’s

Our special way to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family was to go for our run! We were made for each other….that’s for sure! 🙂 Got a nice warm up and cool down with our sweet puppy, Emma, and then got the workout in per our Ironman training plan. Tri Fort Worth, here we come!

Now it’s time to relax, enjoy each our family and eat dinner!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!