My Hero…and my Nemesis

I have a love/hate relationship with Kristin Armstrong. I’m talking about Lance’s ex-wife here. Let me stress from the get-go that I do not know her personally and everything I say comes from the deepest level of respect. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let me say this. “I beat Kristin in the Boston Marathon!!! Woo Hoo!!! Yippeee!! I Rock!!” (gloating now over)

If she was reading this, I’m sure her first reaction would be, “What is your deal sister? And why do you know or care what my time is?” Oh yeah…all that and, “Who the hell are you??”

Ever since I moved to Austin, Texas in 1998, I’ve followed Kristin’s story, mostly by default of just living here in her town. Most of the world knows the basic story about Lance and Kristin Armstrong with his cancer, their dream marriage, his infertility, frozen sperm, the subsequent births of their miracle children, the Tour de France victories, bad rumors, the divorce…oh yeah…the divorce. That’s where the story ends for most of the world.

Oddly enough, that’s where my bizarre fascination with this woman actually began. Through the media and friends of hers, I’ve come to learn basic things about her that have an uncanny resemblance to my life. Before dating and marrying Lance, she worked in the PR/Advertising Industry in Austin as an up-and-coming Exec (I’ve been in Media and Advertising since College). She counts her Catholic Faith as one of the most important attributes in her life for survival during the hard times (Amen, sister). At her lowest moments, she found happiness and bliss in the form of running (For me, it was either running or more diet pills). She’s become a well-published writer having had several articles in “Runners World,” “Glamour” and others. (While I’ve never been published in cool magazines like that, I have written several radio and TV commercials that have been heard by thousands!) She’s run several marathons including the New York, Chicago and Boston Marathons. (We practically run in each other’s shadow often finishing less than 2 minutes apart.) We’re both not afraid to admit our own weaknesses and failures.

Her recent piece in “Glamour” magazine spoke volumes to me. It apparently also spoke volumes to Oprah, because Kristin was a guest on the show on Tuesday, May 9th.

As you read the article and watch the show, you learn so much about her strengths, vulnerabilities and unglamorous realities of living in the spotlight. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it must’ve been (and must still be) to bear the burden of being Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife. While he’s off doing his thing in front of millions, she has quietly, but solidly rebuilt a life of peace, happiness and personal success—all things she lost temporarily when she changed her last name.

I hope that I will always speak my mind with pride and dignity. I hope that I someday learn that it’s ok to ask for help when I need it. Most of all, I hope that, even in the compromises of marriage, I never lose sight of myself.

To me, Kristin Armstrong IS me (minus the whole zillionaire ex-husband). I just wish she wasn’t in my racing age group!!

See you on the trails, girlfriend.

5:45am 6.5 Mile Run with Running Partner (and friend of Kristen) Amy…That’s where the inspiration for today’s blog came from.

Swim workout at 7:15pm–it was a KILLER!! We swam about 2600 meters, but it was a tough one for me. I had trouble keeping up and found myself in the back of the lane more than once. That’s ok. I still finished the entire workout!

5:15am 1/2 w.w. tortilla with PBJ
9:00am Kashi, blueberries, yogurt
12noon 1 1/2 chicken crepe, carrots, red potatoes, a few bies of chocolate cake
3pm apple
5:15pm dry kashi and 1/2 tuna wrap (trying to eat early before swimming)


11 thoughts on “My Hero…and my Nemesis

  1. o.k. I’m sitting in the business center @ the St. Regis (yes…swanky) hotel and catching up on e-mails. Your post…were you speaking to me? I felt like we should both have a glass of vino in our hands. I have long been a fan of the x Ms. Armstrong…and count her journey as impressive (if not more so)as Lance’s. I needed your post today…. more than you know! thank you!

  2. although i don’ compare myself to her, watching her on oprah, she was so articulate and composed. really was impressed j

  3. I’m not sure that I’m understanding the same lifestyle that u are at all portraying. My story–I have been, since the age of 14, diagnosed with anorexia and bulimia, got (by surprise) pregnant at the age of 21. I had no $, no place to live; nothing! But I came from a wonderful family that gave me everything that they could! Anyway, I had so many hardships in the area of my baby’s father. I gave every effort that I could to be a family, but it just wasnt meant to be. Currently I am in a relationship where I am not sure where to go. I recently have graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and I am so happy in my field. But now I am constantly going back-and-forth on what to do with our relationship. He is a great person but do I stay and “try” to work things out (so we always say) or just leave and hurt everyone involved (especially my son) So I can see where u also had hardships. But I am reading in magazines and online (maybe I am wrong????) that u are harboring some DEEP emotions where Lance is to blame—-I quote as meaning to your children: “who were breast-fed, toted between countries and utterly adored by their devoted, full-time, stay-at-home mommy.” I really don’t understand your take on things. From what it seems, there are some things that u never thought would ever happen in your life. But, I am sorry to say, that these things are a reality for so many of us. I guess that I NEVER expected anyone to feel sorry for me and/or the actions that I have taken in my life. Maybe I am totally wrong but it seems that u are not taking responsibility for your own actions. —-Wondering in ND—–

  4. I was wondering about your title on the article “What I wish I had known about marriage”. When you got married u were in the same position as so many people–no one knows what it is like to be married!! Others always want to give you their opinion (“It is terrible”, or “It is the greatest thing ever”.) You will personally never know unless u take that step! So obviously now, being older and wiser ;), your take on marriage is completely different! But I still cant get over how you “painstakingly reclaim your HARD-EARNED authenticity, etc”. It doesnt seem too hard-earned when you have your own life established, and leave it for a wealthy public athlete. I guess I could trade shoes with you– The REAL American woman has been in so much worse tragedy and catastrophe (exaggeration!!)than “juggling kids, travel, cooking, smoothing” as your article claims.

  5. Your site is on top of my favourites – Great work I like it.< HREF="" REL="nofollow">»<>

  6. She runs out of her brief celebrity marriage with 3 kids, spins it into a conspiracy rather than accept responsibility for choosing the wrong mate, whines about her fabulous life, uses her famous ex to get exposure for her writing and then complains when the talk show hosts ask about him…… Sure, no one is perfect, but THIS is your hero?

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